Previous research has shown that the transect walks (TW) method provide a practical and effective approach to welfare assessment in broiler and turkey farms. This method for turkey welfare assessment is reasonable in terms of time demands within minimal costs. Furthermore, TW approach resembles the routine checks used by farmers. The overall aim of this study was to verify the feasibility of the TW method as potential practical tool for on-farm welfare assessment in turkeys during the fattening period. A total of 14 commercial turkey farms (8 male and 6 female flocks) of the same genetic strain (British United Turkeys [B.U.T.] - Big 6) with similar management standard procedures were evaluated. Bird ages at evaluation ranged from 122 to 138 D and 90 to 103 D old, for males and females, respectively. Two independent assessors walked slowly on randomized longitudinal paths (transects) within each house, while recording the prevalence of birds showing any of the 12 welfare and health indicators considered: immobility, lameness, wounds, small size, featherless, dirtiness, sick, terminally ill, dead, and behavioral indicators, such as, aggression towards mate, interaction with humans and mating. The effect of assessor, gender, and interaction assessor by gender was evaluated by using ANOVA. Reliability of the method was noted by the effect of gender (P < 0.001) for immobility, lameness, wounds, and dirtiness indicators. Male flocks showed higher prevalence of immobility (0.035±0.004% vs. 0.004±0.001%), lameness (2.269±0.108% vs. 1.253±0.051%), wounds (0.288±0.014% vs. 0.127±0.009%), and dirtiness (0.050±0.004% vs. 0.022±0.004%) as compared to female flocks. Differences among assessors were relatively minor, with differences detected only for back and tail wounds, dirtiness, aggression towards mate, and interaction with humans. This study reports advantages and limitations of this method for welfare assessment on-commercial turkey flocks and it is the first description of the Italian welfare profile of turkey's commercial flocks.

Differences in prevalence of welfare indicators in male and female turkey flocks (Meleagris gallopavo) / V. Ferrante, S. Lolli, L. Ferrari, T.T.N. Watanabe, C. Tremolada, J. Marchewka, I. Estevez. - In: POULTRY SCIENCE. - ISSN 0032-5791. - 98:4(2018 Dec 22), pp. 1568-1574.

Differences in prevalence of welfare indicators in male and female turkey flocks (Meleagris gallopavo)

V. Ferrante
Primo
;
S. Lolli
Secondo
;
L. Ferrari;T.T.N. Watanabe;C. Tremolada;
2018-12-22

Abstract

Previous research has shown that the transect walks (TW) method provide a practical and effective approach to welfare assessment in broiler and turkey farms. This method for turkey welfare assessment is reasonable in terms of time demands within minimal costs. Furthermore, TW approach resembles the routine checks used by farmers. The overall aim of this study was to verify the feasibility of the TW method as potential practical tool for on-farm welfare assessment in turkeys during the fattening period. A total of 14 commercial turkey farms (8 male and 6 female flocks) of the same genetic strain (British United Turkeys [B.U.T.] - Big 6) with similar management standard procedures were evaluated. Bird ages at evaluation ranged from 122 to 138 D and 90 to 103 D old, for males and females, respectively. Two independent assessors walked slowly on randomized longitudinal paths (transects) within each house, while recording the prevalence of birds showing any of the 12 welfare and health indicators considered: immobility, lameness, wounds, small size, featherless, dirtiness, sick, terminally ill, dead, and behavioral indicators, such as, aggression towards mate, interaction with humans and mating. The effect of assessor, gender, and interaction assessor by gender was evaluated by using ANOVA. Reliability of the method was noted by the effect of gender (P < 0.001) for immobility, lameness, wounds, and dirtiness indicators. Male flocks showed higher prevalence of immobility (0.035±0.004% vs. 0.004±0.001%), lameness (2.269±0.108% vs. 1.253±0.051%), wounds (0.288±0.014% vs. 0.127±0.009%), and dirtiness (0.050±0.004% vs. 0.022±0.004%) as compared to female flocks. Differences among assessors were relatively minor, with differences detected only for back and tail wounds, dirtiness, aggression towards mate, and interaction with humans. This study reports advantages and limitations of this method for welfare assessment on-commercial turkey flocks and it is the first description of the Italian welfare profile of turkey's commercial flocks.
animal-based indicators, welfare assessment, on-farm protocol, turkey
Settore AGR/20 - Zoocolture
Development, integration and dissemination of animal-based welfare indicators, including pain, in commercially important husbandry species, with special emphasis on small ruminants, equidae & turkeys (Welfare indicators)
1-apr-2019
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/623133
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