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Organic broilers must have dry feet to solve foot pad lesions problem

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Staff Writer | July 26, 2017
Despite having access to an outdoor area, having more room, and exercising more than conventional broilers, organic broilers still have problems with foot pad lesions just like their conventional brethren.
Chicken feet
Chicken   Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture
A new report from Danish Centre For Food And Agriculture (DCA) describes causes and proposes possible preventive measures.

oot pad lesions are the result of contact dermatitis in commercial poultry.

An investigation indicates that the problem is more frequent in organic broiler chickens than in conventional broilers.

No previous studies have looked at the causes of foot pad lesions in organic broiler production but a new report from DCA – Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture sheds light on what could cause foot pad lesions and how they might be prevented.

The researchers behind the report interviewed organic broiler farmers and poultry experts.

This provided a picture of the situation in organic broiler houses and how farmers can work on preventing foot pad lesions.

The report was prepared at the request of the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark as part of Aarhus University’s agreement with the ministry regarding policy support.

An important cause of foot pad lesions in organic broiler chickens seems to be a combination of moisture and manure in the broiler house.

If the chickens walk on a humid surface and their own manure sticks to their foot pads, they can get burns on their feet.