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Showing posts from May, 2018

Cameras Document Poultry-Wildlife Interactions

The role of wildlife in disease transmission within and between poultry farms is a sure-fire conversation starter wherever poultry industry professionals gather. A University of Minnesota research project led by Sally Noll, an Extension specialist in poultry and professor in the Department of Animal Science, and Gary Wyatt, an agroforestry educator with University of Minnesota Extension, is shedding light on wildlife activity around poultry facilities. Especially what happens after dark.  The team selected turkey farms with varying landscapes around the farm and installed game cameras—five per farm—to monitor activity near barns, compost/litter piles, and farm borders. The most common types of animals identified by the camera traps were deer, rabbits, possums, various birds, feral cats, coyotes, raccoons, and foxes. Preliminary information indicates that mortality composters are attractive to possums and raccoons. Crows were observed occasionally at these locations. O

Understanding Footpad Dermatitis

(Top) Normal footpad compared with a footpad affected by dermatitis (bottom). The welfare status of animals used for food production remains a concern for consumers and producers alike. Footpad dermatitis is a frequently observed condition in poultry production that can affect profitability, bird performance and well-being. The problem is that existing scoring methods to determine when the condition becomes a problem for the bird’s well-being could stand improvement.  Footpad dermatitis is a necrotic condition that occurs on the bottom surface of the foot of poultry. It starts as an erosion of the skin of the foot and can lead to lesions and broken, painful ulcers if the skin is damaged. The condition can influence leg weakness development, which is another welfare indicator. University of Minnesota researchers collaborated with colleagues at Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University and Purdue University to evaluate existing scoring methods that attempt to