increasingly demand meat which is both affordable and obtained
from welfare-friendly production systems. Currently there is an
unacceptably high level of locomotory dysfunction in growing turkeys,
and unprecedented levels of tibial dyschondroplasia. It has been
suggested that such problems result from selection for production
traits and it is known that locomotory problems can be influenced
by husbandry practices. The welfare implications of locomotory
dysfunction have not been fully appraised. It is essential that
the effects of selection and husbandry on gait, musculoskeletal
health and behaviour are quantified in order to improve the welfare
of modern commercial turkeys. Interpretation of previous work
has been impaired by a lack of standardisation in methodology
and terminology and a fragmented approach to the subject area.
This project will focus a wide range of techniques and expertise
on the problem in a standardised way, which will yield increased
knowledge of locomotory disorders in turkeys and may ultimately
improve turkey welfare.
project will be conducted as a series of separate studies with
the following objectives:
1. To determine the role of genetic selection for production traits
on turkey gait and the musculoskeletal system.
2. To relate clinical lameness to gait parameters, specific musculoskeletal
disorders and pain.
3. To determine the existence, prevalence, severity and consequences
of tibial dyschondroplasia in unselected turkey lines.
4.To correlate gait, tibial and femoral posture and the morphometry
of tibial dyschondroplastic lesions in three strains of turkeys.
5. To study the development and repair of dyschondroplastic lesions
with age and determine precisely the relationship between the
developing dyschondroplastic lesion and bone angulation and torsion.
6. To determine the effects of ambient temperature and age on
the development of tibial dyschondroplasia in two commercial strains
of male turkeys.
7. To determine the effect of sex on the development of tibial
dyschondroplasia in turkeys.
8. To determine the effect of fast or slow growing lines differing
in breast width on the development of tibial dyschondroplasia
9. To determine the effects of light regimen and light intensity
on the development of tibial dyschrondroplasia in turkeys.
10. To determine the effect of early feed restriction on the development
of tibial dyschondroplasia in turkeys.
11. To determine the effects of dietary cation anion balance and
1.25 dihydroxycholecalciferol (1.25-(OH)2 D 3) levels on the incidence
of tibial dyschondroplasia in turkeys at 18 weeks of age.
12. To determine the influence of strain, age, ambient temperature
and activity on the gait and development of tibial dyschondroplasia
in turkeys, with specific reference to basic behavioural traits.
Roslin Institute (Edinburgh)
+44 1315 274446
+44 1314 400434
British United Turkeys LTD
Tel.: +44 1829 740801
Fax: +44 1829 740877
Swiss Federal Veterinary Office
Tel.: +41 31 915 35 10
Fax: +41 31 915 35 14
Centre for applied Poultry Research
Tel.: +31 555066530
Fax: +31 555064858
Institute for Animal Science and Animal Behaviour
Tel.: +49 5034 871136
Fax: +49 5034 071143