Footpad lesions in chickens
Content available in: Español (Spanish) العربية (Arabic)Footpad lesions are a critical issue for the poultry industry due to the impact […]
Footpad lesions are a critical issue for the poultry industry due to the impact on bird welfare and the economic results of companies on the farm and at slaughter. Therefore, the causes related to its incidence must be worked on.
The legs lead the birds to the constant consumption of water and food, contributing to the maximum expression of their genetic potential, thus enhancing the productive capacity of the farms. Representing 5% of the live weight, they are appreciated internally in many countries, and have their large import market in China. Thus, leg injuries, if they are not avoided, will reduce productive efficiency in the field and the performance of the slaughter, affecting, in a double way, the economic result of the company.
Footpad lesions can occur at any age of birds, and litter moisture is their “trigger”. The chicken maintains, during its fattening, a close relationship with the litter, which has the objective of providing thermal insulation against the cold floor and, even more important, absorbing the humidity coming from its excrement.
As the moisture content of the litter increases, and the chicken is in contact with it all the time, the keratin layer (the most superficial layer of the skin) begins to soften, tending to damage that, subsequently, can lead
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