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A Reliable Method to Assess Keel Bone Fractures in Laying Hens From Radiographs Using a Tagged Visual Analogue Scale

Published on Jun 7, 2018in Frontiers in Veterinary Science
路 DOI :10.3389/fvets.2018.00124
Christina Barbara Rufener3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Bern),
Sarah Dorothea Baur2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Bern)
+ 1 AuthorsMichael J. Toscano18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of Bern)
Abstract
Up to 97 % of laying hens housed in aviary systems are affected by keel bone fractures. Due to the scope of the problem, multiple efforts investigating causes and consequences of fractures have been conducted. The most frequently used techniques to detect fractures lack accuracy and provide only vague information (palpation) or cannot be conducted longitudinally (dissection). Radiographic imaging overcomes these weaknesses as it allows longitudinal observations and provides detailed information for individual fractures of which a single keel may have several at different locations and of different origins. However, no standardized system exists to assess fracture severity from radiographs if multiple fractures are present. The aim of this study was therefore to test the reliability of a scoring system assessing the aggregate severity of multiple fractures, taking into account the characteristics of all present fractures (e.g. locations, callus formation, width of fracture gaps). We developed a scoring system based on a tagged visual analogue scale, ranging from score 0 (no fracture) to score 5 (extremely severe) with intermediate tags for scores 1, 2, 3, and 4. A catalogue of example scores was provided to describe the range of each score visually. An online tutorial with an introduction, training and scoring session was completed by 14 participants with varying experience involving laying hens and keel bone damage. For inter-observer reliability, we found an Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.985 with a 95 % confidence interval of 0.974 < ICC < 0.993 (average-rating, absolute-agreement, two-way random-effects model). Intraclass correlation coefficient for intra-observer reliability was 0.923 with a 95 % confidence interval of 0.879 < ICC < 0.951 (single-rating, absolute-agreement, two-way mixed-effects model). Intra-observer reliability ranged from 0.704 to 1.0 indicating excellent agreement and similar ratings across and within participants. Further, high ICCs suggest that the introduction and the training sessions provided were adequate tools to prepare observers for the assessment task despite various backgrounds of the participants. Nonetheless, the validity of this scoring system needs to be investigated further in order to link responses of interest and biological relevance with the specific severity values resulting from our scoring system.
  • References (39)
  • Citations (3)
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References39
Newest
#1Anja B. Riber (AU: Aarhus University)H-Index: 10
#2T. M. Casey-Trott (U of G: University of Guelph)H-Index: 6
Last. Mette S. Herskin (AU: Aarhus University)H-Index: 19
view all 3 authors...
This paper reviews current knowledge about welfare implications of keel bone damage in laying hens. As an initial part, we shortly describe the different conditions and present major risk factors as well as findings on the prevalence of the conditions. Keel bone damage is found in all types of commercial production, however with varying prevalence across systems, countries, and age of the hens. In general, the understanding of animal welfare is influenced by value-based ideas about what is impor...
10 CitationsSource
#1Sabine G. Gebhardt-Henrich (University of Bern)H-Index: 14
#2Michael J. Toscano (University of Bern)H-Index: 18
Last. Hanno W眉rbel (University of Bern)H-Index: 32
view all 3 authors...
Broiler breeders are commonly kept without perches, although perching has been shown to be a high-priority behavior in laying hens. We studied whether broiler breeders used elevated perches of different lengths during the night and how access to perches affected health and production. Using the Ross 308 hybrid, pens offering 4 different perch spaces per bird (5, 10, 14, and 20聽cm) in a cross-over design were compared with pens without perches. The number of birds on perches at midnight were reco...
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#1J.L.T. HeerkensH-Index: 11
#2Evelyne DelezieH-Index: 9
Last. Frank Tuyttens (UGent: Ghent University)H-Index: 26
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Non-cage systems provide laying hens with considerable space allowance, perches and access to litter, thereby offering opportunities for natural species-specific behaviors. Conversely, these typical characteristics of non-cage systems also increase the risk of keel bone and foot pad disorders. The aim of this study was twofold: 1) to investigate if providing ramps between perches (housing factor) reduces keel bone and foot pad disorders and 2) to test for genetic predisposition by comparing 2 di...
11 CitationsSource
#1P. Regmi (MSU: Michigan State University)H-Index: 5
#2N. Nelson (MSU: Michigan State University)H-Index: 2
Last. Darrin M. Karcher (MSU: Michigan State University)H-Index: 12
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10 CitationsSource
#1Terry K. Koo (New York Chiropractic College)H-Index: 14
#2Mae Y. Li (New York Chiropractic College)H-Index: 1
Objective Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) is a widely used reliability index in test-retest, intrarater, and interrater reliability analyses. This article introduces the basic concept of ICC in the content of reliability analysis.
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8 CitationsSource
#1T Casey-Trott (U of G: University of Guelph)H-Index: 1
#2J.L.T. HeerkensH-Index: 11
Last. T. M. Widowski (U of G: University of Guelph)H-Index: 14
view all 7 authors...
Keel bone damage (KBD) is a critical issue facing the laying hen industry today as a result of the likely pain leading to compromised welfare and the potential for reduced productivity. Recent reports suggest that damage, while highly variable and likely dependent on a host of factors, extends to all systems (including battery cages, furnished cages, and non-cage systems), genetic lines, and management styles. Despite the extent of the problem, the research community remains uncertain as to the ...
29 CitationsSource
#1Alexandra Harlander-Matauschek (U of G: University of Guelph)H-Index: 10
#2T.B. Rodenburg (WUR: Wageningen University and Research Centre)H-Index: 31
Last. Michael J. Toscano (University of Bern)H-Index: 18
view all 5 authors...
Keel bone damage (KBD) is a critical issue facing the contemporary laying hen industry due to the likely pain leading to compromised welfare and reduced productivity. Recent reports suggest that KBD, while highly variable and likely dependent on a host of factors, extends to all housing systems (including traditional battery cages, furnished cages and non-cage systems), genetic lines, and management styles. Despite the extent of the problem, the research community remains uncertain as to the cau...
34 CitationsSource
#1Michael J. Toscano (UoB: University of Bristol)H-Index: 18
#2F Booth (UoB: University of Bristol)H-Index: 4
Last. John F Tarlton (UoB: University of Bristol)H-Index: 15
view all 7 authors...
Keel fractures in the laying hen are the most critical animal welfare issue facing the egg production industry, particularly with the increased use of extensive systems in response to the 2012 EU directive banning conventional battery cages. The current study is aimed at assessing the effects of 2 omega-3 (n3) enhanced diets on bone health, production endpoints, and behavior in free-range laying hens. Data was collected from 2 experiments over 2 laying cycles, each of which compared a (n3) suppl...
9 CitationsSource
#1M. A. F. Nasr (UoB: University of Bristol)H-Index: 5
#2Christine J Nicol (UoB: University of Bristol)H-Index: 51
Last. Joanna C. Murrell (UoB: University of Bristol)H-Index: 14
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Abstract Objective Investigate the effects of administration of meloxicam and carprofen on the mobility of hens with and without keel fractures. Study design Within each of two experiments a 鈥榖linded鈥 randomised cross over design whereby birds received either the test drug (carprofen or meloxicam) or saline. Animals Two groups of Lohman Brown hens with and without keel bone fractures. Methods The first group ( n = 63) was treated with carprofen 25 mg kg 鈭1 and saline subcutaneously, twice. The s...
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#1Ida Th酶fner (UCPH: University of Copenhagen)H-Index: 4
#2Hans Petter Hougen (UCPH: University of Copenhagen)H-Index: 23
Last. Jens Peter Christensen (UCPH: University of Copenhagen)H-Index: 25
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Keel bone fractures in laying hens have been described with increasing prevalence from several countries over the last twenty years and are considered one of the greatest welfare problems to the layer industry. In Denmark we have observed fracture prevalence in the range of 53% to 100% in flocks from cage-free systems whereas flock prevalences in birds from enriched cages ranged between 50鈥98%. Previous research have speculated that the underlying reason for the development of keel bone fracture...
Source
Keel bone fractures and deviations belong to the most severe animal welfare problems in laying hens and are influenced by several factors such as husbandry system and genetic background. It is likely that egg production also influences keel bone health due to the high demand of calcium for the eggshell, which is, in part, taken from the skeleton. The high estrogen plasma concentration, which is linked to the high laying performance, may also affect the keel bone as sexual steroids have been show...
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#1Elena A. Armstrong (Newcastle University)H-Index: 2
#2Cristina Rufener (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)
Last. Tom V. Smulders (Newcastle University)H-Index: 22
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In commercial flocks of laying hens, keel bone fractures (KBFs) are prevalent and associated with behavioural indicators of pain. However, whether their impact is severe enough to induce a depressive-like state of chronic stress is unknown. As chronic stress downregulates adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) in mammals and birds, we employ this measure as a neural biomarker of subjective welfare state. Radiographs obtained longitudinally from Lohmann Brown laying hens housed in a commercial mult...
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#1Sabine G. Gebhardt-Henrich (University of Bern)H-Index: 14
#2Christina Barbara Rufener (University of Bern)H-Index: 3
Last. Ariane Stratmann (University of Bern)H-Index: 5
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ABSTRACT Assessing keel bone damage reliably and accurately is a requirement for all research on this topic. Most commonly, assessment is done on live birds by palpation and is therefore prone to bias. A 2-day Training School of the COST Action 鈥淚dentifying causes and solutions of keel bone damage in laying hens鈥 with 16 participants of variable experience was held where palpation of live hens was followed by consulting corresponding radiographic images of keel bones. We hypothesized that the in...
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Palpation is the most popular method of measuring keel bone damage on live birds, although it has been criticized for being subjective and inaccurate. The goals of this study were to examine intra- and inter-rater reliability when trained with feedback of accuracy, as well as determine the accuracy of portable radiography and sonography. Four evaluators palpated 50 103-week old Lohmann LSL-lite hens immediately following euthanasia. Of those birds, 34 were then radiographed, sonographed, and all...
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#1Christina Rufener (UC Davis: University of California, Davis)
Last. Michael J. Toscano (University of Bern)H-Index: 18
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Abstract Keel bone fractures (KBF) in laying hens have been shown to cause pain and impair mobility under experimental conditions. However, it is not known how KBF relates to the mobility of individual hens housed in aviary systems. For the current study, 120 focal hens (60 Lohmann Brown (LB) and 60 Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL)) were kept in six identical pens equipped with a commercially relevant aviary system (20 LSL focal hens鈥+鈥205 LB or 20 LB focal hens鈥+鈥205 LSL per pen, respectively). D...
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#1Christina Barbara Rufener (University of Bern)H-Index: 3
#2Sarah Dorothea Baur (University of Bern)H-Index: 2
Last. Michael J. Toscano (University of Bern)H-Index: 18
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of keel bone fracture (KBF) severity and healing activity on individual productivity of laying hens. Focal hens (75 Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL), 75 Lohmann Brown (LB)) were housed alongside non-focal hens in 10 identical pens containing a commercial aviary system (15 focal hens per pen). Eggs of focal hens were identified by orally administering a dye on 3 consecutive days, resulting in a hen-specific color pattern in the yolk. Eggs were col...
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