Maja Makagon



Makagon is an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Sciences. She focuses on the behavior, welfare, and management of poultry. She completed her Ph.D. in animal behavior at UC Davis. Makagon received postdoctoral training at Michigan State University, and was an assistant professor of animal sciences at Purdue University before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2015.

Research interests:

Poultry behavior, poultry management, animal welfare assessment

Brief overview:

My research focuses on the interplay among the behavior, welfare, and management of poultry, including ducks, turkeys, laying hens, and broilers. My lab addresses three main topics:

1) assessing the effects of physical and social environments on bird behavior

2) evaluating the relationship between behavior and bone integrity

3) developing and validating practical, species-specific welfare assessment measures

My goal is to help develop strategies that minimize behavior-related poultry management issues while optimizing bird welfare and production.

Current projects:

  • Behavioral correlates of keel bone damage in laying hens
  • Quantitative assessment of the walking abilities of Pekin ducks
  • Utility of the transect method as a tool for assessing the welfare of commercial turkeys
  • Use of essential oils for mitigating the spread of northern fowl mites
  • Improving nest use by commercial breeder ducks


Updated January 2016


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