(519) 824-4120 ext. 52021
Personal Web Site: Alexandra Harlander's Site
Dr. Harlander’s research interest is in the behaviour and welfare of poultry. Her work focuses on the impact that husbandry can have on physiology and behaviour of poultry, birds' motivation to perform abnormal behaviour and the objective assessment of poultry welfare. Dr. Harlander’s research uses bird health and what birds want (e.g. preference tests, including demand analysis) to apply to current poultry husbandry practices to enhance bird well-being and health. More specifically, one aspect of Dr. Harlander's work involves investigating the causes of a high number of birds (as high as 70%) with keel fractures in alternative laying hen husbandry systems. Although keel fractures can be due to a variety of factors, her research focuses on fundamental aspects of the development of locomotion in domestic fowl and the ways in which this knowledge can be used to improve the freedom of locomotion in alternative laying hen husbandry systems to reduce the occurrence of fractures in such systems.
Dr. Harlander’s research tries also to find out why laying hens perform feather pecking - an important unsolved problem in both organic and commercial laying hens with a prevalence of 60-80%, the physiological mechanisms underlying this oral-repetitive behaviour and why it becomes so excessive. Results out of these studies should open new strategies for the prevention and treatment of feather pecking in laying hens and contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying oral-abnormal repetitive behaviour in other species kept in captivity.
Who am I:
Want to join my Lab?
A day in the life of a PhD student in the Harlander Lab:
Successful student training in the Harlander Lab: academic paper presentations