Improving foot pad quality in commercial broilers: benchmarking and practical strategies


Principal Investigator

Clover Bench, University of Alberta

Year the work was done

2014-2016

Overall objective

  • To determine which in-barn moisture strategies and philosophies yield the highest quality broiler foot pads, e valuate on-farm foot pad assessment techniques, and cultivate stronger communication linkages between producers, researchers and processors.

Outcomes

  • Wheat straw litter and litter depths were associated with higher prevalence of foot pad dermatitis.
  • On-farm self-assessment of FPD provides producers with the best means by which to monitor, mitigate, and manage important factors related to foot pad health.
  • Numerous technology transfer activities were accomplished throughout this research.

Application

  • Inform future revisions to broiler animal care guidelines.
  • Producers are encouraged to regularly assess flocks for foot pad lesions and are to avoid the use of wheat straw as a bedding material.

This research applies to

Broilers

This research was supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canadian Poultry Research Council, Lillydale Inc. and Alberta Chicken Producers.