Effect of Na-Perborate on litter in reducing or healing of foot pad lesions in broiler chickens
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Foot pad lesions are a growing problem in the broiler industry. Footpads are being evaluated in slaughterhouses and serve as a welfare indicator. In this research the effect of Na-Perborate on litter in reducing ulceration of foot pads and the effect on healing of Foot Pad Dermatitis (FPD) in broiler chickens was investigated. Results were used to evaluate the hypothesis that Na-perborate, a H2O2-generating substance, inhibits anaerobic bacteria that could possibly play a role in the etiology of FPD. Two experiments were carried out on a broiler farm in Giessenburg, the Netherlands. In the first experiment 203 chicks were housed in 4 testpens whereof the litter of 2 testpens was treated with Na-perborate supplemented with sand and the litter of the other two, control, testpens was not treated. A significant reduction in the development of ulceration was found in treated groups. In the second experiment the same experimental design was used with 200 chicks except for the control testpens which were treated with sand this time. A significant increase was found in the healing of foot pad lesions in treated groups, but no significant reduction of ulceration was found. With the results of these experiments the hypothesis that anaerobic bacteria could possibly play a role in the etiology of FPD cannot be adopted nor rejected. Further investigation on this role and the possible use of Na-perborate as a remedy against FPD is desirable.