Analysis of risk factors for dermatitis and cellulitis in turkeys using abattoir post mortem data

S. Neroli, P.G. Prestmo, P. Sheard, T.G. Knowles, E.G.M. van Klink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


1. Cellulitis and dermatitis are often seen in turkeys at slaughter and are, in many cases, reasons for rejection at meat inspection. Using the results of meat inspections and information about the housing conditions of the animals may provide information on causative factors in the development of cellulitis and dermatitis.
2. A census of two years of turkey production in a company including both fattening farms and an abattoir in the north of England was used to study the relationship between the prevalence of cellulitis/dermatitis and mechanical versus natural ventilation in the poultry house, litter type (long straw, short straw and wood shavings) and stocking density.
3. The overall prevalence of cellulitis and dermatitis in this population was 0.12 %, which was extremely low compared to reports in the literature. In mechanically ventilated houses, the odds of developing cellulitis and/or dermatitis was significantly higher than in naturally ventilated houses (Odds Ratio 3.18). Long straw had a protective effect compared to wood shavings (Odds Ratio 0.18).
4. The study showed that using slaughter data can be helpful in studying on-farm risk factors for disease development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-537
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number5
Early online date3 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • cellulitis/dermatitis
  • litter
  • risk factors
  • stocking density
  • Turkeys
  • ventilation


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