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Validation of broiler chicken gait scoring training in Thailand, Brazil and New Zealand

By A. Butterworth, T. G. Knowles, P. Whittington, L. Matthews, A. Rogers, C. S. Bagshaw

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Broiler chickens are the most numerous terrestrial farmed animals on earth. These birds can suffer a range of pathologies which result in lameness, and one technique for assessing the impact of lameness on the individual bird, and on the flock has been gait scoring. This paper describes a study where the results of the same training programme for validated gait scoring are compared for groups of assessors in Thailand, Brazil and New Zealand. A uniform course of training carried out in the classroom, through video assessment and through on-farm training was carried out in the countries named; a total of 95 persons being trained overall. A measure of agreement with the reference scale for the assessors' numerical responses was carried out using a Cohen's Kappa test, and the results indicated significant differences in the 'origin position' ie the view taken by the assessors of the impact of lameness on the bird before training had taken place, but a high degree of consistency in the response to training. The study demonstrated that gait scoring can be learned by assessors from different geographical and social backgrounds, and that the 'rate of learning' - the improvement in performance in relation to a standard, was similar between the countries studied. The 'origin' and 'final' position of the assessors pre- and post-training, from the different countries in relation to the reference standard is discussed.

Date 2007
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 16
Issue 2
Pages 177-179
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford, N Somerset, BS40 5DU, UK.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal diseases
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animal welfare
  4. ASEAN Countries
  5. Asia
  6. Australasia
  7. Birds
  8. Brazil
  9. Chickens
  10. Commonwealth of Nations
  11. Developed countries
  12. Education
  13. Fowls
  14. Gait
  15. Lameness
  16. Latin America
  17. Mammals
  18. Meat animals
  19. Methodologies
  20. New Zealand
  21. Oceania
  22. OECD countries
  23. peer-reviewed
  24. Poultry
  25. Primates
  26. South America
  27. Techniques
  28. Thailand
  29. Threshold Countries
  30. training
  31. United States of America
  1. peer-reviewed