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9 recommendations for controlling inflammatory response in broilers

- Jan 28, 2019 -

9 recommendations for controlling inflammatory response in broilers

Compliance with strategies to avoid inflammatory reactions can help reduce meat degradation and disposal at slaughterhouses.

Dr. ALGIS MARTINEZ - Kebao Veterinary Specialist

Inflammatory response, there are three other different names, 1. Cellulitis, 2. Coliform cellulitis, 3. Infection process. It is a broiler problem characterized by cellulitis pervading the skin, followed by inflammation of the chest, legs and body cavity, often extending into the groin area.

The general degree of cellulitis of the carcass must be further trimmed, which makes it one of the main reasons for the degradation of the carcass, and together with the slaughterhouse pollution, causes great economic losses.

In the slaughterhouse, the inflammatory pollution is mainly caused by the skin of the toes and is subsequently infected by E. coli. Although other bacteria have been isolated from cellulitis lesions, E. coli is clearly associated with inflammatory reactions and is why this condition is called E. coli cellulitis.

Cellulitis prevention and control

There is no magical way to avoid inflammatory or cellulitis in broilers. This is caused by multiple management factors that cause the flock to be excited and scratched. However, careful handling of these management details can help reduce scratching and avoid developing lesions.

1. Through reasonable cleaning, empty period and drying padding

The longer the empty period, the less likely the infection will occur. However, the success of this procedure depends on a thorough house cleaning and disinfection, as E. coli isolated from infected flocks survives in the house for a long time, affecting the production of the flock.

Pushing the litter into the center of the house and heating the entire pair of padding was found to be helpful in reducing E. coli as long as the heating temperature is high enough. From the point of view of reduced pathogens, the goal is to maintain 55 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 3-4 days. The important point is to keep enough time to "cool" and dry the litter.

2. Breeding density

The amount of culture in a chicken house is clearly linear with the occurrence of skin scratching and inflammation.

Sometimes, the density of farming is determined by the sale of chicken, so many factories often see more inflammatory conditions during the peak season. In this case, the reason is the probability of occurrence due to the density of the culture, but there is no equipment needed to provide additional broilers in the house.

3. Dim the light in the first week

When the birds reach their expected 7-day body weight, it is recommended to reduce the light intensity to 10 lux to reduce flock activity and reduce stress.

When the lights are dimmed, the flock should not get stuck because people enter the house. Sudden light intensity is a bad practice in farming methods because strong light causes the flock to become active and stressed, causing the skin to scratch.

4. Reduce the number of people walking around the house and reduce the pace as the chicken gets bigger

In order to reduce the pile and overcrowding of the birds. A quick walk in the house will cause frightening the chickens, causing them to get together and cause corrections to scratches and skin damage.

The number of walks was reduced during the last 5 days of the culture cycle and was slower than before.

5. Keep the chicken evenly distributed in the house

Whole house brooding helps reduce irritations because chickens generally do not return to the brooding area.

Some companies set up a barrier when they enter the chicks to ensure that the chicks can be counted and evenly distributed in the house.


The divider should be set up in a diamond shape with the corners on the side of the wall, about 30 degrees, to prevent the chicken from getting stuck in the corner when the person walks.

6. Maintain a reasonable ambient temperature to avoid getting stuck and scratching

The quality of the house environment plays an important role in the performance and health of the broiler, as well as the carcass quality.

Proper temperature and good air quality throughout the house can help control moisture levels and maintain good litter quality.

In winter, the temperature of the litter is warm and there is reasonable air flow through the birds in the summer, which is critical to avoid getting stuck and scratching.

7. Avoid material restrictions or feed suspension

Filling the trays may cause the flock to compete for feed, resulting in bunching and scratching.

8. Grasp the reasonable setting of the chicken

When catching chicken, the lights should be dimmed.

The chicken catcher must understand that the calmer the whole process of catching the chicken, the smaller the stress, the smaller the number of deaths, and the less meat that the factory downgrades. The number of chickens caught in the chicken cage must be reduced in the summer.

9. Skin integrity - vitamin E, zinc supplementation

The importance of zinc and vitamin E for maintaining and improving skin integrity has been proven.

Skin is the first line of defense against bacterial infections. Skin damage is the main route of entry and is the main cause of cellulitis.

Recent studies have shown that feeding composite zinc broilers can reduce skin tearing and scratching compared to inorganic zinc sulfide broilers, resulting in less and lighter cellulitis.


The symptomatic manifestations of cellulitis lesions allow examiners, producers, and veterinarians to easily see the severity and can help assess the effectiveness of prevention strategies.

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