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A comparison between leg problems in Danish and Swedish broiler production

By G. S. Sanotra, C. Berg, J. D. Lund

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Abstract

In Denmark and Sweden, surveys were undertaken to estimate the prevalence of leg problems in conventional broiler production. The Danish survey included 28 Ross 208 flocks, and the Swedish survey included 15 Ross 208 and 16 Cobb flocks. Leg problems included reduced walking ability (gait), tibial dyschondroplasia (TD), varus/valgus deformations (VV) and foot-pad dermatitis (FPD). Danish Ross chicks showed a significantly higher prevalence of gait score >0, gait score >2 and TD, but a lower prevalence of VV, than Swedish Ross chicks. Cobb chicks showed a significantly higher prevalence of gait score >0, gait score >2 and TD than Swedish Ross chicks, a significantly higher prevalence of VV than Danish Ross chicks, and a significantly lower prevalence of FPD than both Danish and Swedish Ross chicks. The two genotypes of Swedish chicks showed similar relationships between body weight and probability of gait score >0, TD and VV, indicating that the difference in prevalence of these leg problems may be due to the difference in mean body weight at slaughter age. At body weights below 2300 g, Danish chicks showed a higher probability of gait score >2 than Swedish chicks. Furthermore, at body weights below 1900 g, Danish chicks had a higher probability of TD than Swedish chicks, whereas at body weights above 2200 g they had a lower probability of TD. This indicates that the difference in prevalence of TD between Danish and Swedish chicks was due to differences in mean body weight at slaughter age as well as housing conditions. Therefore, further studies on the risk factors in relation to management and housing conditions are required.

Date 2003
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 12
Issue 4
Pages 677-683
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Science and Animal Health, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Gronnegardsvej 8, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark. sgs@kvl.dk
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Tags
  1. Animal diseases
  2. Animal housing
  3. Animal husbandry
  4. Animal production
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Birds
  7. Body weight
  8. Bones
  9. Chickens
  10. Denmark
  11. Developed countries
  12. Diseases
  13. Europe
  14. Fowls
  15. Gait
  16. Lameness
  17. Legs
  18. Meat animals
  19. OECD countries
  20. peer-reviewed
  21. Poultry
  22. Risk Assessment
  23. risk factors
  24. Scandinavia
  25. slaughter
  26. susceptibility
  27. Sweden
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed