Susceptibility to keel bone fractures in laying hens and the role of genetic variation

Candelotto, Laura; Stratmann, Ariane; Gebhardt, Sabine; Rufener, Christina Barbara; van de Braak, Teun; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2017). Susceptibility to keel bone fractures in laying hens and the role of genetic variation. Poultry Science, 96(10), pp. 3517-3528. Poultry Science Association 10.3382/ps/pex146

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Keel bone fractures are a well-known welfare problem in modern commercial laying hen systems. The present study sought to identify genetic variation in relation to keel bone fracture susceptibility of 4 distinct crossbred and one pure line, and by extension, possible breeding traits. Susceptibility to fractures were assessed using an ex vivo impact testing protocol in combination with a study design that min- imized environmental variation to focus on genetic differences. The 5 crossbred/pure lines differed in their susceptibility to keel bone fractures with the greatest likelihood of fracture in one of the 3 commercial lines and the lowest susceptibility to fractures in one of the experimental lines. Egg production at the hen-level did not differ between the crossbred/pure lines (P > 0.05), though an increased susceptibility to keel bone fractures was associated with thinner eggshells and reduced egg breaking strength, a pattern consistent among all tested crossbred/pure lines. Our findings suggest an association between egg quality and bone strength which appeared to be independent of crossbred/pure line. The findings indicate the benefit of the impact methodology to identify potential breed- ing characteristics to reduce incidence of keel fracture as well as the potential relationship with eggshell quality.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute > Animal Welfare Division
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Candelotto, Laura; Stratmann, Ariane; Gebhardt, Sabine; Rufener, Christina Barbara and Toscano, Michael Jeffrey

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0032-5791

Publisher:

Poultry Science Association

Language:

English

Submitter:

Christina Barbara Rufener

Date Deposited:

03 May 2018 15:50

Last Modified:

06 Sep 2018 13:36

Publisher DOI:

10.3382/ps/pex146

PubMed ID:

28938772

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.111612

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/111612

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