Skeletal disorders are a major cause of suffering, poor welfare and bad health in poultry throughout the EU. Each year 65 million laying hens suffer bone fractures as a result of bone fragility caused by osteoporosis (OP) and 700 million broilers suffer moderate to severe disablement from leg abnormalities, a major cause of which is tibial dyschondroplasia (TD).
The objective is :
The main objective of this project is to develop genetic solutions to both osteoporosis in laying hens and tibial dyschondroplasia in broilers.
Short description of the project :
The physiological bases of osteoporosis and TD are entirely different, so the project is divided into two parts. As regards TD, the objective is to identify the gene(s) causing TD. Selection using radiography has resulted in broiler lines with high and low incidence of TD but this method cannot eliminate TD, because the system is unable to detect small lesions. A more sensitive genetic marker is required. The results of this part of the work will identify genetic strategies for eliminating TD from commercial broilers and will also contribute to other projects to map the poultry genome. The objectives of the second part of the project will be to breed lines of hens that are resistant or susceptible to OP, to determine the inheritability of bone structural and strength characteristics and to study the benefits of improved resistance to OP. The lines of susceptible and resistant hens will form a resource for future genome analysis studies.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
8200 AB Lelystad