Accepted for publication in Poultry Science on 22 May 2019.
Footpad lesions are an important factor in evaluation of animal welfare in broilers regulated by law; however, no legal requirements have been set for the parent birds. Nevertheless, the present study confirms that foot health in broiler breeders declines significantly with increasing age, thus potentially impairing the animal welfare due to pain and discomfort from footpad dermatitis. Furthermore, this is the first report demonstrating a correlation between the presence of footpad lesions and systemic bacterial infections with Gram-positive cocci in broiler breeder birds.
Link to full article: https://veterinaryresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13567-019-0657-8
Leg problems are highly prevalent in modern broiler production and provision of environmental enrichment could be a strategy to improve leg health. Different types of environmental enrichment have undergone evaluation. Our objective was to conduct a systematic review of the effect of environmental enrichment on leg health in broiler chickens. The evaluation of leg health included measures of the entire leg and foot, and behavioural, pathological and physical measures. Six types of environmental enrichment were selected for inclusion: light programme, intensity of light, stocking density, perches, straw bales and separation of resources. For each type, a systematic literature search was ...