Effect of perch access on perching, health and production outcomes in commercial broiler breeder flocks.

Vasdal, G; Gebhardt-Henrich, S G; Tahamtani, Fernanda; Kittelsen, K E (2022). Effect of perch access on perching, health and production outcomes in commercial broiler breeder flocks. Poultry science, 101(11), p. 102160. Elsevier 10.1016/j.psj.2022.102160

[img]
Preview
Text
1-s2.0-S0032579122004497-main.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (1MB) | Preview

There is a need for more knowledge about perch use in broiler breeders and the potential effects of perches on health and production outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of perches by commercial broiler breeders, effect of perch access on keel bone fractures (KBF), footpad dermatitis (FPD) and number of floor eggs. Two commercial breeder flocks (Ross 308) reared at the same facility were observed during the production period. Half of each flock was provided with 15 cm perch/bird and the other half had no perches. The perch group had two types of perches; a steel plate mounted on the hen feeder lines "feeder perch" (15 cm high) and elevated plastic perches (5 cm high). Perching by hens and roosters was recorded during the dark period by counting birds on each of the two perch types in 10 sections and in the corresponding patches on the control side at 25, 35, and 45 wk of age (WOA). FPD was scored in 100 random hens in each group at 30 WOA and end of lay, KBF was scored by postmortem in 100 random hens in each group at end of lay, and number of floor eggs (n) in each treatment was scored daily. More hens perched on the feeder perch with the steel plate mounted, compared to the feeder line without the steel plate, but this difference decreased with age (P < 0.0001). Within the perch treatment, more hens perched on the feeder lines compared to the plastic perches at all ages (P < 0.0001). When combining number of hens on the plastic and feeder perches, on average 6.7 birds perched per meter perch, which is full capacity given an average shoulder width of 15 cm/bird. Perch use among the roosters was low overall, but more roosters perched in the perch group compared to the control group at 35 WOA (P = 0.007). Between 47 and 53% of the hens had KBF at the end of the lay. At 30 WOA, birds housed with perches were more likely to have lower FPD. Perch treatment did not affect number of floor eggs. In conclusion, broiler breeder hens perch when the perches are sufficiently high and allow all birds to perch simultaneously, and access to perches may have positive effects on FPD.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Gebhardt, Sabine

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0032-5791

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

29 Sep 2022 08:34

Last Modified:

06 Nov 2022 00:17

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.psj.2022.102160

PubMed ID:

36167022

Uncontrolled Keywords:

broiler breeders floor egg footpad keelbone perching

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/173347

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/173347

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback