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Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science

Print version ISSN 1516-635X


PILECCO, M et al. Influence of genetic strain and season on back scratch lesions in broilers. Rev. Bras. Cienc. Avic. [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.4, pp.241-245. ISSN 1516-635X.

This study aimed at evaluating the influence of genetic strain, sex, and season on the incidence of back scratches during the rearing period. Male and female broilers of two genetic strains reared during the hot or cold season were evaluated. This meta-analysis included 894 samplings in 351 broiler houses of contracted farms located in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, in 2010. Broilers of all ages (1 to 43 days) were sampled, capturing 2% of the birds in the house at each sampling. Each flock was evaluated twice, in 21-day intervals. Broilers were reared as single-sex flocks; there were no straight-run flocks. Scratch lesions were classified as present or absent. Strain A broilers presented lower scratch rates (p < 0.05) than strain B birds. During the starter period (1 a 21 days), males presented higher scratch rates (p < 0.05) than females, and the incidence of these lesions was lower during the hot season compared with the cold season. It was concluded that different management practices can be adopted to minimize back scratches in broilers of different sexes and strains during hot and cold seasons, such as reducing weight control frequency and the period of chick containment in brooder circles.

Keywords : Broiler production; carcass quality; management.

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