Factors Associated with Cumulative First-Week Mortality in Broiler Chicks
Animals , Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ani10020310
Abstract: The first week of life of broiler chicks is a sensitive period where many of the chicks’ systems and organs are considered immature. During this period there are a lot of factors that can negatively influence chick morpho-physiology affecting welfare. A decrease in early life chick welfare could be reflected in first-week mortality. In this study we used data from one hatchery company to identify risk factors that could influence first-week mortality. Risk factors were classified either as internal (individual-dependent) and external (management or environmental) factors. We found that breeder age, chick gender and breed were the internal factors significantly related to chick mortality. Among the 21 external factors considered only type of broiler house, presence or absence of drip cup, egg storage, study year and season were related to chick mortality. In conclusion, the identified housing factors and management routines should be considered to reduce first-week mortality rate, to rearing the chickens and to the construction of new broiler houses.
Keywords: management / Performance / factors / welfare / broiler / First Week Mortality
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