Vitamin A (VA) is key for optimal male and female reproductive performance in avian species. Focusing on the male, spermatozoa are particularly rich in polyunsaturated phospholipids that are extremely sensitive to oxidative attacks, and such attacks can in turn lead to lipid and protein peroxidation throughout the cell and DNA damage, which in turn leads to fragile sperm cells that have impaired sperm motility, and thus poor fertility.
While modern broilers have been selectively bred for superior performance in terms of feed efficiency, growth rate, and meat yield,
Unlike other animals, cattle have great difficulty in dissipating their heat loads efficiently, as they do not sweat much and rely on respiration to cool down.
Pododermatitis is not only a broiler welfare issue, but it also means producers lose out on a potential market. The export of chicken feet makes for good business, one that certainly adds to profit margins.
Growing populations means farmers are under pressure to produce more food, yet they are expected to increase protein production while using fewer resources and keeping food costs down.