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Paw quality in broilers: Why it’s important

By Tom Tabler, PhD
Extension Professor
Mississippi State University Extension Service, Poultry Science Department
Mississippi State, Mississippi


Footpad dermatitis is a major concern in broiler chickens because it adversely affects animal welfare. There’s also an increased demand for chicken paws from overseas markets. In fact, in recent years, the value of the paw market to China alone reached $50 million a year.1

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1. Thornton G. Is Sanderson Farms poised for big earnings in 2017?  Watt Ag June 9, 2016.
2. Michel VE, et al. Histologically-validated footpad dermatitis scoring system for use in chicken processing plants. Brit. Poult. Sci. 2012;53(3):275-281.
3. de Jong IC, et al. Wet litter not only induces footpad dermatitis but also reduces overall welfare, technical performance, and carcass yield in broiler chickens. J Appl Poult Res. 2014;23(1):51-58.
4. Ritz CW, et al. Litter quality and broiler performance. 2014. University of Georgia Extension Bulletin No.1267. University of Georgia, Athens.



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