Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Automatic scoring system for monitoring foot pad dermatitis in broilers

The assessment of foot pad dermatitis at slaughter is a suitable method to assess and monitor the welfare of broilers. The goals of this study were to define and validate a camera-based score that could identify macroscopic lesions of the foot pads, to identify errors, and to assess possible external factors that could influence the assessment. In the first phase 200 feet of broilers and in the second phase 500 feet were collected at slaughter, assessed visually, hung back into the evisceration line, and assessed by an automatic system. The camera score cut-off values were defined in the first (=calibration) phase. In the second (=validation) phase, the performance of diagnosis for these cut-off values was evaluated, and possible errors in the assessment of reference surface area and foot pad lesions were analyzed. The results showed that, in particular, Macro Scores 0, 2, and 3 could be identified with sufficiently high sensitivity. For Macro Score 1, the sensitivity of diagnosis was not sufficiently high in the two evaluated software versions. The current automatic assessment systems at slaughter could be adjusted to the cut-off values in order to classify foot pad dermatitis lesions. Furthermore, software updates can enhance the performance measures and lower the probability of errors.


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