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Br Poult Sci. 2006 Feb;47(1):13-8.

Preliminary study to examine the utility of using foot burn or hock burn to assess aspects of housing conditions for broiler chicken.

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Division of Farm Animal Science, School of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Bristol, England.


1. Eleven broiler chicken farms, representing 4 production system types, were visited during the last 5 d of the flock cycle: bird and flock details were recorded. Litter friability was assessed at 9 sites within the house, atmospheric ammonia was measured at three sites and bird cleanliness was assessed on a numerical rating scale. 2. For these flocks, hock burn, foot burn and breast burn were measured at the processing plant by standardised assessors. 3. Significant correlations were identified between the percentage of birds with foot burn and average litter score, average house ammonia concentrations and feather score. 4. No correlation was found between the percentage of birds with hock burn or breast burn and average litter scores, average ammonia concentrations or feather score. 5. No correlation was found between stocking density and foot burn, hock burn or breast burn.6. If confirmed, these findings may have implications for the draft EU Broiler Directive, for which it is proposed that permitted stocking density on farm may be determined by the incidence and severity of contact dermatitis measured on plant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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