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For more: http://www.extension.org/67685 The increased cost and decreased availability of traditional poultry bedding material, such as pine shavings, has facilitated the need to identify alternative bedding materials for poultry growers. The objective of this study was to evaluate a cellulose by-product from the paper manufacturing industry on its comparability to pine shavings on broiler production performance standards and litter quality parameters.
The experimental design consisted of 25 pens (3.7 m2 each) containing 55 Cobb broilers (0.07 m2/bird) per pen. Five treatments with five replicate pens per treatment were set up to evaluate varying levels of cellulose inclusion as bedding. The five cellulose treatments consisted of 0% (Control, 100% pine shavings), 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% cellulose by-product. The first phase of the experiment included litter moisture, litter pH, and footpad dermatitis (FPD) scores at Day 7. At Day 7, the mean litter moisture (%) of the Control (23.9) and 25% (23.9) treatments were not significantly different from the 50% (16.9) treatment, but were significantly greater than the 75% (15.0) and 100% (14.8) treatments. At Day 7, the mean percentage (%) of birds with no footpad downgrades in the 100% (99) and 75% (95) treatments were not significantly different from the 50% (87) treatment, but were significantly greater than the 25% (76) and Control (66) treatments. An evaluation of litter moisture versus FPD scores produced a correlation coefficient of 0.73, indicating a strong cause-and-effect relationship between increasing litter moisture and incidence of FPD.
Based on phase one results, the cellulose by-product is at least comparable if not superior to pine shavings as a broiler bedding material based on litter moisture and subsequent incidence of FPD during the brooding phase of broiler production.