Investigation of the prevalence and severity of foot pad dermatitis at the slaughterhouse in fattening turkeys reared in organic production systems in Germany
The present study shows the prevalence and severity of foot pad dermatitis (FPD) in turkeys reared in organic production systems assessed at slaughterhouses in Germany. The investigations of altogether 1,860 turkeys of the strains Kelly Broad Breasted Bronze (Kelly BBB; 540 toms, 540 hens) and British United Turkeys (B.U.T.) 6 and the Test Product 7 (TP 7; 780 hens) showed that 97.7% of the examined turkeys were diagnosed with different degrees of FPD. Only 4.6% of the toms and 1.3% of the hens had feet without lesions. Most frequent were necrotic lesions measuring up to 2 cm in diameter (64.3% of all turkeys). Extensive necrotic lesions of the foot pads (toms: 29.8%; hens: 12.4%) and necrosis of superficial scales (toms: 11.3%; hens: 7.6%) were less frequent. Plantar abscesses were rare findings (1.9%). In general, the feet of the Kelly BBB hens were more affected by foot pad lesions than those of the Kelly BBB toms. There were significant differences between the investigated flocks concerning the occurrence of foot pad lesions. The aim in rearing turkeys must be the reduction of FPD.