Date of Graduation

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Poultry Science (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Poultry Science

Advisor

Nicholas B. Anthony

Committee Member

Robert F. Wideman

Second Committee Member

Young M. Kwon

Abstract

Rearing birds on wire flooring has proven to be an effective method for consistently triggering significant levels of lameness in broilers, and while the wire flooring model has been proven effective, more mobile wire floor models have been developed to compliment the facility management conditions within commercial genetic selection programs. The mobile wire floor models have been titled "speed bumps", and through previous evaluation have resulted in significantly higher levels of lameness in broilers compared to litter floor shavings. The current experiment contains two studies (studies 1 and 2). Both studies involved comparing leg weakness between broiler strains; while in study 1 the main objective was to detect the optimal time to introduce speed bumps (SB) into litter flooring pens and study 2 involved developing additional SB models and determining which models were the most efficient at inducing significant levels of lameness. Broiler lines B and D (study 1) and A and B (study 2) were hatched at a commercial hatchery and brought to the University of Arkansas Research Farm where they were reared straight run for 56 days with water and feed ad libitium at a final stocking density of 0.47 square meters per bird. Study 1 involved raising broilers on 5 different floor treatments, including litter floor shavings, wire flooring, SB-14 (SB introduced into litter floor pens at 14 days of age), SB-28 (SB introduced into litter floor pens at 28 days of age, and SB-42 (SB introduced into litter floor pens at 42 days of age). In study 2 broilers were raised on 7 floor treatments: litter floor shavings, flat wire floor model, SB50, SBL50%, SBL66%, SBW50%, and PT. The latter 5 treatments were SB models introduced into litter flooring pens at 28 days of age. The results of both studies indicated that SB introduction was ideal at 28 days of age, and between the 5 SB models used in trial 2, SBW50% proved to induce the highest degree of lameness. From the findings of Study 1 and 2 it can be determined that the most effective use of a SB model for inducing BCO related lameness is through introduction of the SBW50% model at 28 days of age.

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