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Use of radiography to identify keel bone fractures in laying hens and assess healing in live birds
  1. G. J. Richards, BSc, MSc1,
  2. M. A. Nasr, BVSc, MVSc2,
  3. S. N. Brown, HNC, MIBiol2,
  4. E. M. G. Szamocki, BSc, MSc2,
  5. J. Murrell, BVSc, PhD, DECVAA, MRCVS2,
  6. F. Barr, MA, VetMB, PhD, DVR, DipECVDI, MRCVS2 and
  7. L. J. Wilkins, HNC, MIBiol2
  1. Animal Behaviour and Welfare Group, Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford, N Somerset, BS40 5DU, UK
  2. Department of Animal Wealth Development, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt
  1. E-mail for correspondence g.richards{at}

The aim of this study was to use radiography to assess and characterise naturally occurring keel bone fractures in laying hens and monitor live birds over several weeks to examine the healing process. Twenty-four Lohmann brown commercial laying hens with varying degrees of keel bone fracture were used in the study. Birds were radiographed regularly over six weeks and the radiographic features and changing appearance of keel bone fractures were evaluated. The radiographic characteristics of old and new fractures were categorised and indicated that 80 per cent of birds entering the study with new fractures had healed after 35 days and five birds had incurred new fractures irrespective of their original fracture status.

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  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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