Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit

Ploufragan, France

Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit

Ploufragan, France
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Guinebretiere M.,European University of Brittany | Michel V.,European University of Brittany | Arnould C.,Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit | Arnould C.,CNRS Physiology of Reproduction and Behaviors | And 2 more authors.
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2015

Furnished cages for laying hens exist in a wide variety of sizes and designs and should be equipped to allow hens to express some of their behavioural priorities. European Council Directive 1999/74/EC stipulates that litter must be provided for pecking and scratching but the type of litter and the pad where litter is delivered are not defined. In the same way, neither the maximum nor the optimum number of birds per cage has been defined. Two successive experiments were carried out to analyse pecking, scratching (PS) and dustbathing (DB) behaviours performed in different furnished cages with different designs. Three group sizes of ISA brown laying hens (20, 40 or 60. hens, with the same density in all the cages), with or without additional feed distribution as litter substrate, were compared in the first experiment. The second experiment focussed on DB behaviour and compared two pecking and scratching pads (artificial turf or rubber mats), with or without wheat bran distribution as litter substrate, in groups of 60. hens per cage. Irrespective of litter presence, group size, and type of pad, DB and PS were mainly performed in the pecking and scratching area, showing the attractiveness of this area. In the first experiment, feed-litter provision in pecking and scratching area increased PS and DB behaviours, while group size did not affect them. In the second experiment, hens performed more DB in the pecking and scratching area when wheat-bran litter was present than when it was absent. Rubber matting was more attractive to hens for DB than artificial turf matting. Durations of DB bouts were not affected by the presence or absence of wheat-bran litter or the choice of pecking and scratching pad. In furnished cages, hens clearly seek out pads and litter to perform PS, and providing litter (feed or wheat bran) or rubber in pecking and scratching area is attractive for hens to DB in it. However, the cage design could be improved to promote more DB activity, for instance by increasing space of pecking and scratching area in the cage. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Huneau-Salaun A.,Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit | Guinebretiere M.,Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit | Michel V.,Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit
British Poultry Science | Year: 2014

Abstract: 1. An experiment was set up to study the effects of substrate provision on performance and behaviour in the pecking and scratching area (PSA) of non-beak-trimmed hens housed in large furnished cages (60 hens/cage).2. Three layer hybrids (two brown and one white, ISA-Hendrix Genetics, France) and two substrate conditions (with or without wheat bran automatically distributed on the PSA) were compared in a 3 × 2 experimental design with 12 cages per treatment.3. Substrate distribution improved laying rate with no impact on the frequency of dirty or cracked eggs.4. Substrate distribution improved the viability and body integrity of hens, which were not beak-trimmed.5. Distribution of substrate tended to increase the number of hens in the PSA and enhanced their pecking and scratching behaviours but had a negative impact on the number of dust bath bouts per cage and encouraged dust bathing on the wire floor close to the feeder.6. The white hens laid more eggs in the nest than the brown birds and used the PSA more for pecking, scratching and dust bathing at the end of the day than the brown hens, underlining the necessity to adapt cage furnishing and rearing management to specific behaviours of each layer genotype. © 2014, © 2014 British Poultry Science Ltd.


Souillard R.,Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit | Woudstra C.,Food Safety Laboratory | Le Marechal C.,Hygiene and Quality of Poultry and Pig Products Unit | Dia M.,Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit | And 4 more authors.
Avian Pathology | Year: 2014

Between 2011 and 2013, 17 poultry botulism outbreaks were investigated in France. All cases were associated with Clostridium botulinum type C–D. Presence of C. botulinum was studied in seven areas: poultry house, changing room, ventilation system, surroundings, animal reservoirs, water, and feed. Swabs, litter, soil, darkling beetles, rodents and wild bird droppings, feed and water samples were collected. The presence of C. botulinum type C–D in the environment of affected flocks was detected in 39.5% of the 185 samples analysed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. C. botulinum type C–D was reported in each area. Four areas were more frequently contaminated, being found positive in more than one-half of farms: darkling beetles (9/11), poultry house (14/17), water (13/16) and surroundings (11/16). After cleaning and disinfection, the ventilation system and/or the soil (in the houses and the surroundings) returned positive results in four out of eight poultry farms. Consequently, darkling beetles, the drinking water, the ventilation system and the soil in the surroundings and the houses were identified as the main critical contaminated areas to consider in poultry farms to prevent recurrence of botulism outbreaks. © 2014 Houghton Trust Ltd.


Salaun H.-A.,Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit | Bougeard S.,Pig Epidemiology and Welfare Unit | Balaine L.,Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit | Eono F.,Pig Epidemiology and Welfare Unit | And 2 more authors.
World Rabbit Science | Year: 2015

In 2009, productivity data from 95 kindling to finishing rabbit farms in France were analysed to identify rearing factors and health conditions that influenced their productivity. Farm productivity, expressed on a yearly basis, was described with 4 productivity indexes: doe fertility and prolificacy, viability of young rabbits in the nest and mortality during the fattening period. The productivity data were obtained with the technical support of the farm and expressed in a standardised way. The average numerical productivity observed in the sample of farms was 50.9 rabbits produced per doe and per year (confidence interval at 95% [CI95%; 49.6-52.2]). The husbandry management and health conditions were described based on a questionnaire filled out during an interview with the farmer and a farm visit. Explanatory data were organised into meaningful blocks relative to biosecurity measures, maternity management, sanitary context and farm structure. The relationship among the 4 thematic blocks and the productivity indexes was studied in a single model using a partial least squares (PLS) regression model. Fertility (81.0%, CI95% [80.0-82.0]), viability of young at nest (85%, CI95% [85.0-85.3]) and mortality rate during fattening (7.2%, CI95% [6.4-7.9]) were significantly associated with common factors related with maternity management and the health context, whereas prolificacy (9.7 live kits per parturition, CI95% [9.5-9.9]) was mostly influenced by a specific set of variables pertaining to those 2 blocks. Farm structure and biosecurity measures had a limited impact on fertility and on kit viability before weaning. The health conditions of the doe herd and the fattening rabbits were found to be significantly associated with several productivity indexes, but their impacts on productivity were as high as the impact of the other blocks. Genetic strain of the females, doe replacement strategy and nursing and weaning practices appeared to significantly influence reproductive performance, viability of kits before weaning and mortality rate during the fattening period. Maternity management therefore seemed to be the key point in rabbit unit management that governed the numerical productivity of the farm. © WRSA, UPV, 2003.


Duvauchelle A.,Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit | Huneau-Salaun A.,Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit | Balaine L.,Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit | Rose N.,Pig Epidemiology and Welfare Unit | Michel V.,Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit
Avian Pathology | Year: 2013

A study was carried out in French breeder duck flocks in 2008 and 2009 to identify practices and events related to the introduction of avian influenza viruses (AIVs). The status of flocks was assessed using serological methods for all subtypes of AIV without typing. Flocks managed with both natural mating and artificial insemination were investigated every 4 weeks from the beginning of the laying period up to seroconversion or for a maximum of 6 months. A questionnaire was completed with the farmer during each visit and 20 female ducks were randomly sampled for blood testing. Only flocks that tested seronegative at the first visit were included in the study (n = 151 flocks managed with natural mating or artificial insemination). Data were analysed using survival analysis to identify factors influencing the time to seroconversion. Three separate models were constructed: one for the whole sample, one for natural mating flocks, and one for artificial insemination flocks. Factors related to the time to introduction of AIV included the type of production system linked to artificial insemination practices, the neighbourhood, poor disinfection practices, liquid manure management, presence of wildlife, and vehicles entering the building. No clear relationship could be observed in the serological status of male and female ducks in farms keeping male ducks separately from female ducks for artificial insemination. By respecting carefully biosecurity measures, it should be possible to decrease AIV infection of breeder duck flocks. © 2013 Houghton Trust Ltd.


PubMed | Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Avian pathology : journal of the W.V.P.A | Year: 2014

Between 2011 and 2013, 17 poultry botulism outbreaks were investigated in France. All cases were associated with Clostridium botulinum type C-D. Presence of C. botulinum was studied in seven areas: poultry house, changing room, ventilation system, surroundings, animal reservoirs, water, and feed. Swabs, litter, soil, darkling beetles, rodents and wild bird droppings, feed and water samples were collected. The presence of C. botulinum type C-D in the environment of affected flocks was detected in 39.5% of the 185 samples analysed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. C. botulinum type C-D was reported in each area. Four areas were more frequently contaminated, being found positive in more than one-half of farms: darkling beetles (9/11), poultry house (14/17), water (13/16) and surroundings (11/16). After cleaning and disinfection, the ventilation system and/or the soil (in the houses and the surroundings) returned positive results in four out of eight poultry farms. Consequently, darkling beetles, the drinking water, the ventilation system and the soil in the surroundings and the houses were identified as the main critical contaminated areas to consider in poultry farms to prevent recurrence of botulism outbreaks.


PubMed | Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Poultry science | Year: 2013

This experiment studied the effect of transportation duration of 1-d-old chicks on dehydration, mortality, production performance, and pododermatitis during the growout period. Eggs from the same breeder flock (Ross PM3) were collected at 35, 45, and 56 wk of age, for 3 successive identical experiments. In each experiment, newly hatched chicks received 1 of 3 transportation duration treatments from the hatchery before placement in the on-site rearing facility: no transportation corresponding to direct placement in less than 5 min (T00), or 4 (T04) or 10 h (T10) of transportation. The chicks were housed in 35-m(2) pens (650 birds each) and reared until 35 d old. Hematocrit and chick BW were measured on sample chicks before and after transportation. During the growout period, bird weight, feed uptake, and feed conversion ratio were measured weekly until slaughter. Transportation duration affected BW; T00 groups had a significantly higher BW than T04 and T10 transported birds but this effect lasted only until d 21. No clear effect on hematocrit, feed uptake, feed conversion ratio, or mortality was observed for birds transported up to 10 h. The decrease in weight in T10 birds was associated with less severe pododermatitis. Increasing age of the breeder flock was correlated with reduced egg fertility and hatchability, and also with higher quality and BW of hatched chicks. Chicks from older breeders also exhibited reduced mortality during the growout period.


PubMed | Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: British poultry science | Year: 2014

1. A study was conducted to estimate the prevalence and quantification by species of Campylobacter infection in broiler flocks at the end of the rearing period and to identify associated risk factors. 2. A questionnaire about the rearing period was completed and caecal samples were collected from 121 broiler flocks in Brittany, France, during 2008. 3. Campylobacter was isolated in 87 out of 121 flocks--a prevalence of 71.9% (95% CI, 63.7-80.1%), including 40.5% of Campylobacter jejuni and 29.8% of Campylobacter coli. 4. The average concentration, in positive flocks, was 7.96 log10 cfu/g and ranged from 3.15 to 10.32 log10 cfu/g. 5. The average concentration by species was: 7.57 log10 cfu/g for C. jejuni and 8.44 log10 cfu/g for C. coli. 6. There was a seasonal effect, with increased risk of Campylobacter colonisation in June, July and August (odds ratio (OR) = 9.59, 95% CI 1.15-79.75). 7. The other factors, associated with lower risk of Campylobacter colonisation, were the acidification of drinking water (OR = 0.33, 95% CI 0.13-0.86), antibiotic treatment at the beginning of the rearing period (OR = 0.20, 95% CI 0.07-0.55) and rodent control around the house (OR = 0.18, 95% CI 0.03-0.95). 8. The results show that hygiene practices and biosecurity measures could lead to a reduction in Campylobacter colonisation.


PubMed | Lane College, Catholic University of Leuven, Petersime N.V. and Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit
Type: | Journal: Journal of thermal biology | Year: 2015

Thermodynamic study of incubated eggs is an important component in the optimisation of incubation processes. However, research on the interaction of heat and moisture transfer mechanisms in eggs is rather limited and does not focus on the hatching stage of incubation. During hatch, both the recently hatched chick and the broken eggshell add extra heat and moisture contents to the hatcher environment. In this study, we have proposed a novel way to estimate thermodynamically the amount of water evaporated from a broken eggshell during hatch. The hypothesis of this study considers that previously reported drops in eggshell temperature during hatching of chicks is the result remaining water content evaporating from the eggshell, released on the inner membrane by the recently hatched wet chick, just before hatch. To reproduce this process, water was sprayed on eggshells to mimic the water-fluid from the wet body of a chick. For each sample of eggshell, the shell geometry and weight, surface area and eggshell temperature were measured. Water evaporation losses and convection coefficient were calculated using a novel model approach considering the simultaneous heat and mass transfer profiles in an eggshell. The calculated average convective coefficient was 23.9 7.5 W/m(2) C, similar to previously reported coefficients in literature as a function of 0.5-1m/s air speed range. Comparison between measured and calculated values for the water evaporation showed 68% probability accuracy, associated to the use of an experimentally derived single heat transfer coefficient. The results support our proposed modelling approach of heat and mass transfer mechanisms. Furthermore, by estimating the amount of evaporated water in an eggshell post-hatch, air humidity levels inside the hatcher can be optimised to ensure wet chicks dry properly while not dehydrating early hatching chicks.


PubMed | Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, LABOCEA, Avian and Rabbit Epidemiology and Welfare Unit, Hygiene and Quality of Poultry and Pig Products Unit and University Paris Est Creteil
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Genome announcements | Year: 2015

Animal botulism is mainly associated with Clostridium botulinum group III strains producing neurotoxin types C, C/D, D, and D/C. In this report, we present the draft genome sequences of fourteen strains of Clostridium botulinum producing type C/D and two strains producing type D/C isolated in France, and one strain producing type D/C that originated from New Caledonia.

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