1. The objective was to compare the effect of two litter types (wheat straw and wood shavings) and two different rearing conditions (Treated and Control) on welfare indicators, broiler performance, carcase injuries, particularly hock and foot pad dermatitis (FPD), litter characteristics and meat quality. 2. Treated conditions were characterised by a low stocking density (11 birds/m2), short photoperiod (16 h light: 8 h dark) and a large amount of litter (3 to 45 kg/m2, respectively, for wheat straw or wood shavings). Control conditions were a high stocking density (14 birds/m2), long photoperiod (23 h light:1 h dark) and small amount of litter (23 to 3 kg/m2, respectively, for wheat straw or wood shavings). In addition, the effects of two widely used litter materials, wheat straw and wood shavings, were investigated. 3. The combined effects of lower stocking density, greater amount of litter material and a photoperiod similar to the natural one, reduced the occurrence of FPD in Treated groups keeping the FPD score under the European threshold. 4. Improved rearing conditions led to faster growth rate associated with inferior feed efficiency, whereas litter type exerted negligible effects on broiler performance. 5. Litter moisture content, nitrogen and ammonia released by the litter were lower in Treated groups than Control groups. The use of wood shavings resulted in lower moisture and nitrogen concentrations in the litter.

Effect of less intensive rearing conditions on litter characteristics, growth performance, carcase injuries and meat quality

MELUZZI, ADELE;FOLEGATTI, ELISA;SIRRI, FEDERICO
2008

Abstract

1. The objective was to compare the effect of two litter types (wheat straw and wood shavings) and two different rearing conditions (Treated and Control) on welfare indicators, broiler performance, carcase injuries, particularly hock and foot pad dermatitis (FPD), litter characteristics and meat quality. 2. Treated conditions were characterised by a low stocking density (11 birds/m2), short photoperiod (16 h light: 8 h dark) and a large amount of litter (3 to 45 kg/m2, respectively, for wheat straw or wood shavings). Control conditions were a high stocking density (14 birds/m2), long photoperiod (23 h light:1 h dark) and small amount of litter (23 to 3 kg/m2, respectively, for wheat straw or wood shavings). In addition, the effects of two widely used litter materials, wheat straw and wood shavings, were investigated. 3. The combined effects of lower stocking density, greater amount of litter material and a photoperiod similar to the natural one, reduced the occurrence of FPD in Treated groups keeping the FPD score under the European threshold. 4. Improved rearing conditions led to faster growth rate associated with inferior feed efficiency, whereas litter type exerted negligible effects on broiler performance. 5. Litter moisture content, nitrogen and ammonia released by the litter were lower in Treated groups than Control groups. The use of wood shavings resulted in lower moisture and nitrogen concentrations in the litter.
A. Meluzzi; C. Fabbri; E. Folegatti; F. Sirri
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/65263
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