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Keel Bone Damage Training School, Zagreb, Croatia, April 29th 2020

The Keel Bone Damage (KBD) Training School will be held at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Croatia on… read more »


Invitation for contribution to special Issue “Sustainable Organic Agriculture for Developing the Agribusiness Sector”

Dr. Nikola Puvaca (University Business Academy in Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia) is inviting you to contribute to Special Issue… read more »


Application open for Keel Bone Damage Training School, 10th October

Register now for the Keel Bone Damage (KBD) Training School in Novi Sad, Serbia on October 10th. Application deadline: August… read more »


New PhD position at the University of Bern

We are currently looking to recruit for a 3 year PhD position focusing on comparison and development of behavioural observation… 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