What is it about?
Broiler chickens walking ability can be influenced, in commercial husbandry environments, by stress, metabolic disturbances, and environmental quality factors. Gait score is the most common way to assess how chickens walk, which provides insights into their welfare. However, gait scores can be biased by the evaluator. Making clap noises close to the chicken is one way to bias gait scores. It scares and makes the chicken run away from the evaluator. Analgesics administration is another way to bias gait scores. A chicken with poor gait has a painful memory associated with walking and takes the first steps slowly. However, due to the analgesic effect, the chicken realizes that pain is reduced and walks faster. This study demonstrated that it is possible to bias gait scores. However, it is also possible to notice when it occurs.
Photo by Tarikul Raana on Unsplash
Why is it important?
It is important to know how to evaluate the Gait Score of broiler chickens so that there is no misinterpretation or mistake.
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This page is a summary of: Effects of analgesic and noise stimulus in gait score assessment, PLoS ONE, January 2019, PLOS,
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