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Effect of Different Flooring Designs on the Performance and Foot Pad Health in Broilers and Turkeys

Institute for Animal Nutrition, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Bischofsholer Damm 15, D-30173 Hanover, Germany
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Animals 2018, 8(5), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8050070
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 29 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 3 May 2018
Litter quality has a significant influence on the performance and foot pad health in poultry. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of different types of flooring designs on the performance and foot pad health in fattening broilers and turkeys. Three trials were conducted for each species using a total of 720 Ross 308 broilers and 720 Big 6 turkeys. After day seven, animals were randomly assigned to four groups with three subgroups each: G1—floor pens with litter, G2—floor pens with litter and floor heating, G3—partially-slatted flooring, including a littered area, and G4—fully-slatted flooring with a sand bath (900 cm2). Animals of both species had a significantly higher final body weight at dissection (day 36) after being reared on fully-slatted floors compared to common littered floors. In turkeys, the feed conversion ratio was worse in G4 (1.53 ± 0.04) than in G1 (1.47 ± 0.02) and G2 (1.48 ± 0.03). Water to feed ratio was significantly higher in G2 than other groups. Turkeys’ foot pad health was significantly better in G4 than in other groups beginning at day 21. In turkeys, platforms with slatted floors that allow for temporary separation of the feet from the litter could lead to improvements in foot pad health which could better enable the realization of species-specific behaviours and activities in littered areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: broiler; turkey; flooring design; slatted flooring; floor heating; performance; foot pad dermatitis broiler; turkey; flooring design; slatted flooring; floor heating; performance; foot pad dermatitis
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Chuppava, B.; Visscher, C.; Kamphues, J. Effect of Different Flooring Designs on the Performance and Foot Pad Health in Broilers and Turkeys. Animals 2018, 8, 70.

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