Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Degree Level



Biological Sciences


Alrubaye, Adnan

Committee Member/Reader

Kral, Timothy

Committee Member/Second Reader

Bailey, Tameka

Committee Member/Third Reader

Plavcan, Joseph


Lameness is a health condition threatening the welfare of broiler chickens in the poultry industry. It can be caused by a bacterial infection called Bacterial Chondronecrosis with Osteomyelitis (BCO). Zinpro has created Avalia-ZMC, a feed additive that has been proven to reduce lameness by 20% in wire-flooring pens and 25% in litter-flooring pens (Alrubaye et al., 2020). This experiment focuses on the optimal time to add Availa-ZMC to the diet of the broiler chickens to help reduce the incidence of lameness. This trial took 56 days with 26 pens at the University of Arkansas Poultry Research Farm. At the start of the trial, there were a total of 60 chicks placed in each pen. On day 14, each pen was culled to 50 chicks per pen. The dimensions of the pens were 5*10 feet. To encourage the broiler chicks to move around, the nipple drinker was placed on one side of the pen, and the two feeders were placed on the opposite side. Two pens had wire flooring to induce BCO lameness as the challenge source pens, and the remainder had litter flooring. The chicks in the pens with wire flooring developed lameness first and spread the infection through the air to the other pens (Alrubaye et al., 2020). The experimental design had five different treatment groups T1-T5 using two different diets. The treatments were randomized throughout the 26 pens; diet 1 was the control diet, and diet 2 contained the feed additive Availa-ZMC. Treatment 1 was the control diet and included two wire-flooring pens. Treatment 2 was the negative control diet 1 with litter-flooring pens. Treatment 3 birds were given the diet 2 Availa-ZMC diet. Treatment 4 was diet 1, days 1-28, and diet 2, days 29-56. Treatment 5 was diet 2, days 1-28, and diet 1, days 29-56. Beginning on day 22, the birds were checked for lameness utilizing a broom to walk them. The lame birds were necropsied, and their lesions on the right and left femurs and tibia were examined and recorded. At the end of the experiment, T3 had the lowest rate of cumulative lameness at 39%. T1 has the highest incidence of cumulative lameness, with 91%.


Broiler Chickens, Lameness, Availa-ZMC, BCO, Poultry Industry