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Perceptions of turkey farmers on health or welfare-related issues

2021 CPRF
Farmers play an important role in the management of animals and ensuring their health and welfare. Little is known about what turkey farmers perceive to be important health and welfare-related issues for their birds. As part of a cross-sectional survey of turkey farmers in Canada we asked farmers to report the main perceived reasons for culling and mortality in their flocks. Additionally, farmers rated the importance of different health and welfare-related issues in their flock as well as for the entire sector. A total of 83 farmer responses were analysed which showed that the most frequently mentioned reasons for culling of birds were leg-related issues (90.0%), sickness (60.5%), and small body size (58.0%). The perceived reasons for mortality were most often reported as ‘unknown’ (59.7%), or considered to be due to cannibalism (41.6%) or dehydration (42.9%). Leg deformities and mortality were considered the biggest issues in turkey farming. In general, farmers rated health and welfare-related traits as more of an issue when the question pertained to the entire sector than their farm in particular. These results increase our understanding of how farmers perceive health and welfare-related traits in turkey farming and help identify priorities that should be addressed through management or breeding.
Tags :
farmer perception,Health,turkey,welfare
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Research Associate

University of Guelph

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