Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9290
FERNANDES, Barbara Cristina da Silva et al. Locomotion problems of broiler chickens and its relationship with the gait score. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.41, n.8, pp. 1951-1955. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982012000800021.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the correlation between the ability to walk (gait score), incidence of femoral degeneration, tibial dyschondroplasia, valgus and varus deformity and leg symmetry of broiler chickens. Male chickens of the Cobb strain from a commercial poultry farm were utilized in this experiment. Fifty 35 and 42-day-old birds were evaluated according to the gait score and valgus or varus incidence. To assess the bilateral symmetry and the lesion score for femoral degeneration and tibial dyschondroplasia, broilers were weighed and euthanized for the removal of the femur and tibia of both legs. The lesion scores for femoral degeneration and tibial dyschondroplasia, varus or valgus deformity, bone symmetry and gait scores of the chickens were then correlated. It was found that weight, age and the incidence of femoral degeneration and tibial dyschondroplasia are not always correlated with the gait score and that only valgus deformity is more correlated.
Keywords : animal welfare; bone symmetry; femoral degeneration; tibial dyschondroplasia.