Modern poultry farming is focused on increased growth rate and production, but the accelerated growth is not accompanied by skeletal development therefore more strain are pressurised on the skeleton of birds.
The leg bones are the fastest growing bones in the body. Rapid growth rate accompanied by adequate mineral and vitamin nutrition, proper management, an optimum lighting and temperature programme, a disease-free environment prevents weakness or disorders in birds. The absence of any of the above factors combined with the increased weight of birds give rise to the different degrees of leg disorders.
Leg weakness can be classified as infectious, developmental/metabolic and degenerative disorders, and represents animal welfare concern.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Avitech Animal Health.