Effect of Reusing Litter on Broiler Performance, Foot-Pad Dermatitis and Litter Quality in Chickens with Different Growth Rates
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This study examined the effect of reusing litter on performance, viability and foot pad dermatitis (FPD) rates of three meat-type chicken genotypes with different growth rates and slaughter weights. Caking and manure accumulation of reused litter were also measured. A total of 780 chicks of 3 genotypes were raised in compartments (26 chickens per compartment, 11.55 chickens/m(2)). Wood shavings were used as litter, with 5 compartments containing new litter and 5 containing re-used litter for each genotype. Differences in live weight, feed consumption, feed conversion ratio, viability and carcass parameters were significant among genotypes (P<0.05), but insignificant between new and used litter groups. FPD, caking and manure scores were higher on used litter. Overall findings suggest that with sufficient ventilation, litter can be reused, thereby decreasing costs of poultry production.