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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 28, No. 2, 2007, pp. 155-160
Bioline Code: zr07026
Full paper language: Chinese
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2007, pp. 155-160

 en Effects of Cage Floor Systems on Behaviours and Breast Blister in Battery Broilers
ZHAO, Fu-rong; ZHAO, Ya-junn; GENG, Ai-lian; SHI, Zheng-xiang & LI, Bao-ming

Abstract

In order to investigate the relationships between cage floor systems, behaviours and breast blisters in broiler chickens, we observed behavioural patterns and the incidence of breast blisters in chickens housed in three types of cages with different floors from the age of three weeks to six weeks. At three-four weeks, there were no occurrences of breast blisters among the broilers in all types of cages. At five and six weeks, there was a breast blister incidence of 14.75% and 20.68% respectively in broilers housed in wire-floored-cages. In plastic-floored cages, there was a 1.69% incidence of breast blister at both five and six weeks of age and in bamboo-floored cages an incidence of 0.76% at both ages. This presents a significant difference in breast blister incidence between wire floor-?caged broilers and plastic/bamboo floor-caged broilers (P<0.05). Although there was no significant difference in lying behaviour of broilers in the three types of cages, lying was the most common behavioral pattern of broilers in all three types of cages at over 70% at the age of six weeks. Meanwhile, broilers in bamboo-floored cages displayed significantly higher frequency of walking and shaking than did broilers in wire/plastic-floored cages (all P<0.05). In wire-floored cages, walking and shaking frequency reduced notably with age, while the duration of lying and the weight on the sternum both increased. This results in the breast frequently touching and rubbing the wire floor accounting for the prevalence of breast blisters. These results suggest that the association of behavioural patterns with the type of cage floor and the prevalence of lying behaviour are key issues influencing the occurrence of breast blisters in battery broilers.

Keywords
Cage floor system Broiler chicken Behavior Breast blister

 
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Alternative site location: http://www.zoores.ac.cn/

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