Latest News

9.9.2018

Assessing keel bone damage in laying hens by palpation: effects of assessor experience on accuracy, inter-rater agreement and intra-rater consistency

In a recent study published in Poultry Science, researchers from Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK describe that experience improves… read more »

13.6.2018

A standardized method to assess radiographs of keel fractures

A new study investigating the reliability of a scoring system for keel bone fractures has been published in Frontiers of… read more »

18.5.2018

2ND KEEL BONE DAMAGE TRAINING SCHOOL – JUNE 14TH, 2018

The 2nd Keel Bone Damage (kbd) Training School will be held on June 14th at the Experimental Poultry Centre in Geel,… read more »

Radiographic examination detects differences in KBD between layer lines and housing systems

A new study using radiography to examine the keel bone throughout the laying period has recently been published in PLOS… read more »

Assessing keel bone damage in laying hens by palpation: effects of assessor experience on accuracy, inter-rater agreement and intra-rater consistency

In a recent study published in Poultry Science, researchers from Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK describe that experience improves the accuracy of keel bone damage assessment by palpation, but only to a minor extent. Depending on the type of keel bone damage, experienced assessors classified an additional 4-12% of the keels correctly compared to inexperienced assessors. After minimal experience gained within the experiment (that is, assessing 50 hens) both previously inexperienced and experienced assessors scored deviations and medial fractures correctly in approximately 80% of the cases. Thus, although palpation accuracy was not perfect, even minimal experience with palpation techniques can lead to a relatively accurate assessment of deviations and medial fractures. In contrast, assessment of fractures of the caudal tip of the keel bone had a poor accuracy. Inexperienced assessors classified only 29% of the keels correctly, and although experienced assessors did somewhat better their accuracy was still too low for reliable application (41% correct). Unless this can be improved (for instance by better training methods) palpation cannot be recommended as a technique to assess caudal fractures.
The article is available open-access at 
https://academic.oup.com/ps/advance-article/doi/10.3382/ps/pey326/5060217