The relation between technical farm performance and antimicrobial use of broiler farms

J.L. Roskam*, A.G.J.M. Oude Lansink, H.W. Saatkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present study was to explore the relation between both farm performance and antimicrobial use (AMU) of broiler farms. Farm performance was expressed as technical efficiency, obtained by using a bootstrap data envelopment analysis. AMU was expressed as treatment incidence. Cluster analysis is used to obtain groups of farms with similar characteristics regarding technical farm performance and AMU. Results indicate that the farms within the different clusters combine different technical farm performance and different levels of AMU. Between the clusters, significant differences were found in technical farm performance, AMU, the resource intensity of the number of animals at set-up, the number of antimicrobial treatments, the number of antimicrobial treatments related to either gut health or combined problems, and the number of antimicrobial treatments with either yellow or orange active substances. Farmers who combine high levels of AMU with high technical farm performance are likely to overestimate the real economic value of AMU. Proper coordination between the farmer and the veterinarian can be crucial in that case for reducing AMU. Farms with low performance are likely to have poor farm conditions. Improving those farm conditions can help reducing the need for AMU on this kind of farms. The farm-specific conditions have to be considered in future policies aimed at reducing AMU in livestock production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1349-1356
Number of pages8
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • antimicrobial use
  • broiler production
  • technical farm performance


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