Exploring the economic potential of reducing broiler lameness

Eva Gocsik*, A.M. Silvera, H. Hansson, H.W. Saatkamp, H.J. Blokhuis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


1. The present study was designed first to explore the potential economic benefits of adopting management practices to reduce lameness in broiler farms, and second to explore farmers’ possible perceptions of this potential in the Swedish context. The likely financial effects were addressed using a normative economic model, whereas a questionnaire-based survey was used to obtain in-depth knowledge about the perceptions of a group of broiler farmers in Sweden. 2. The three alternative practices (out of 6 tested) which realised the greatest improvements in gross margin and net return to management compared to the conventional practice were feeding whole wheat, sequential feeding and meal feeding. 3. The model showed that the negative effect of feeding whole wheat on feed conversion rate was outweighed by the effect of a low feed price and the associated decrease in feed costs. The price of wheat played a major role in the improvement of economic performance, whereas the reduction of lameness itself made a relatively minor contribution. 4. Apparently, the surveyed farmers do not recognise the potential of the positive effects of changing feed or feeding practices on both broiler welfare and farm economics although their implementation can be of great importance in the broiler sector where profit margins are very tight.​

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-347
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Animal welfare
  • broilerproduction
  • economicperformance
  • farmers’perception
  • lameness


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