In 50 years, broiler growth rates have increased dramatically due to intense genetic selection and enhanced nutritional programs. Fast growth places great demands on birds’ musculoskeletal systems, which can result in impaired locomotion and lameness. Lameness reduces animal wellbeing and has severe economic consequences from poor growth, increased culling and mortality, increased carcass condemnation and downgrading at slaughter.
Lameness is often a multifactorial condition. Understanding various causes can help producers identify improvements and develop effective strategies to reduce the incidence of lameness in their flocks. Conditions responsible for lameness can be of infectious or non-infectious origin.
This table focuses on lameness conditions caused by pathogenic factors, namely viruses, and suggests solutions that can help prevent or alleviate lameness caused by these conditions.