Footpad dermatitis (FPD) and hock burn (HB) are a major welfare concern in broiler chicken farming. In general, foot lesions are linked to poor environmental conditions. Ulcers caused by advanced lesions can negatively affect the gait of the birds, with effects on the welfare of animals, including, in the worst cases, inability to reach the feed or water. FPD and HB score data were collected manually at two broiler farms across Europe, during welfare assessments performed within the EU-PLF (Precision Livestock Farming) project, which is supported by the European Commission. This ongoing project aims to create "added value" for the farmer through the application of sensors and information technology at farm level. On those broiler farms, a number of variables such as temperature, relative humidity, ventilation rate, bird weight, light schedule, and feed and water consumption rates are measured automatically. The welfare of the chickens was assessed three times per cycle (at week 3, 4 and 5), scoring FPD, HB, gait score, cleanliness of the birds and litter quality. Data analysis was performed by combining data from the welfare assessments with environmental data collected by the automatic monitoring systems. The analysis showed that FPD and HB were more frequent when the flock was exposed to poor environmental conditions for prolonged periods of time. As environmental conditions can be measured continuously, and the risk factor for FPD and HB increases with poor environmental conditions, there is potential to develop a detection and control system for foot and hock lesions.

Risk factor for footpad dermatitis and hock burns in broiler chickens / E. Tullo, I. Fontana, A. Peña Fernandez, D. Berckmans, E. Koenders, E. Vranken, S.N. Brown, A. Butterworth, H. Gunnink, M. Guarino - In: Precision Livestock Farming 2015[s.l] : European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, 2015. - ISBN 9788890975325. - pp. 792-800 (( Intervento presentato al 7. convegno ECPLF tenutosi a Milano nel 2015.

Risk factor for footpad dermatitis and hock burns in broiler chickens

E. Tullo
Primo
;
I. Fontana
Secondo
;
M. Guarino
Ultimo
2015

Abstract

Footpad dermatitis (FPD) and hock burn (HB) are a major welfare concern in broiler chicken farming. In general, foot lesions are linked to poor environmental conditions. Ulcers caused by advanced lesions can negatively affect the gait of the birds, with effects on the welfare of animals, including, in the worst cases, inability to reach the feed or water. FPD and HB score data were collected manually at two broiler farms across Europe, during welfare assessments performed within the EU-PLF (Precision Livestock Farming) project, which is supported by the European Commission. This ongoing project aims to create "added value" for the farmer through the application of sensors and information technology at farm level. On those broiler farms, a number of variables such as temperature, relative humidity, ventilation rate, bird weight, light schedule, and feed and water consumption rates are measured automatically. The welfare of the chickens was assessed three times per cycle (at week 3, 4 and 5), scoring FPD, HB, gait score, cleanliness of the birds and litter quality. Data analysis was performed by combining data from the welfare assessments with environmental data collected by the automatic monitoring systems. The analysis showed that FPD and HB were more frequent when the flock was exposed to poor environmental conditions for prolonged periods of time. As environmental conditions can be measured continuously, and the risk factor for FPD and HB increases with poor environmental conditions, there is potential to develop a detection and control system for foot and hock lesions.
Broiler; Environmental conditions; Foot lesion; Precision livestock farming; Risk factor; Welfare; Animal Science and Zoology
Settore AGR/10 - Costruzioni Rurali e Territorio Agroforestale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/408617
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