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Poultry health monitoring and management: bone and skin health in broilers

Code: 9781786768810
Gina Caplen, University of Bristol, UK

Chapter synopsis: High lameness and contact dermatitis levels persist within intensively reared broiler flocks; a consequence of long-term genetic selection for ambitious production parameters. Key welfare issues include pain, reduced mobility and increased susceptibility to additional pathologies. Fully understanding the risk factors for these disorders is important so that effective management strategies can be implemented. Genetics is key to improving leg and skin health; most conditions can be selected against in breeding programmes, while greater utilisation of slow-growing strains would immediately benefit welfare. Wet litter is largely responsible for contact dermatitis, yet with strict environmental management it is possible to maintain litter quality, even under high stocking densities. Utilisation of enrichment (to encourage activity), and sequential feeding regimes, have the potential to improve leg health and confer economic benefits. It is hoped that automated video surveillance systems will soon utilise flock behaviour to monitor foot and leg health and highlight impending welfare problems.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2020.0078.17
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Leg disorders and lameness 3 Contact dermatitis 4 Conclusion and future trends 5 Where to look for further information 6 References

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