Risk factors for bruising and mortality of broilers during manual handling, module loading, transport and lairage

Michael Stanley Cockram, Ketan Jung Dulal, Radi A Mohamed, Crawford W Revie

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Multiple factors can affect the risk of bruising and mortality of broilers during loading, transport, and lairage. The risk factors affecting the percentages of broilers in each load that were “dead-on-arrival” (DOA) or bruised were studied from records provided by a processing plant, by undertaking direct observations during on-farm loading and then carrying out multivariable analyses. Selected loads between 2014 and 2015 from seven producers were included in the study. The median DOA per load was 0.13% (Q 1 = 0.06, Q 3 = 0.25, n = 212), the median total duration from loading to unloading was 8.6 h, and the external temperature ranged from −22 to 22 °C. Although it was not possible to adequately characterise thermal conditions within each load, the analysis indicated that the main risk factors for increased mortality were in spring and winter, an increased duration between loading and end of lairage, and a period of feed withdrawal before loading longer than 6 h. The risk of mortality increased with the weight of the birds and with an increase in rearing mortality. No relationships were found between the manner in which the broilers were handled and the percentages of DOAs or bruised birds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-65
Number of pages16
JournalCanadian Journal of Animal Science
Issue number1
Early online date13 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • broilers
  • handling
  • mortality
  • transport
  • bruising

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