Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-544b6db54f-prt4h Total loading time: 0.435 Render date: 2021-10-19T13:30:06.841Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Enlarged sternal bursa and focal ulcerative dermatitis in male turkeys

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2007

Abdolreza Kamyab
College of Agriculture, Animal Science Department, Tehran University, Karaj, Iran
Get access


The constant economic pressure on poultry producers to lower their costs and increase the quality of their products has been a big challenge in today's competitive world. Moreover, the confirment of turkeys has been linked with several kinds of breast skin lesions, mainly enlarged sternal bursa (ESB), or breast blister, and focal ulcerative dermatitis (FUD), or breast button. Both of these conditions (particularly ESB) are believed to cost the turkey industry large amounts of money each year because of the need to trim the breast and the consequent downgrading of the carcass. In addition, they cost the processing plant time by slowing down the production line beacuse of the need to employ more personnel to carry out the work of breast trimming. This paper reviews investigations into the possible causes of the lesions and concludes that many factors (strain, early body weight, photoperiod, stress, litter and floor type) influence their development.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2001

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Adams, A.W., Carlson, C.W., Kahrs, A.J. and Fry, J.L. (1967) Relationship of several environmental factors to the incidence of breast blisters in large type male market turkeys. Poulty Science 46: 569577CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Akpobome, G.O. (1990) Evaluation of cage floor systems for production of commercial broilers. MS Thesis, Texas A & M University, College Station, TexasGoogle Scholar
Andrew, L.D. and Harris, G.C. (1971) Growing broilers in cages. Animal Nutrition and Health 26: 20Google Scholar
Briggaman, R.A. and Wheeler, C.E. (1968) Epidermal-dermal interactions in adult human skin: role of dermis in epidermal maintenance. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 51: 451465CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Chen, E., Noll, S.L., Clanton, C.J., Janni, K.A. and Halvorson, D.A. (1991) Market turkey performance affected by floor type and brooding method. Applied Engineering Agriculture 7: 606612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cherry, N.D.P. (1967) Breast blister in table poultry. Poultry Review 7: 4757Google Scholar
Christensen, K.D., Zimmermann, N.G., Wyatt, C.L. and Goodman, T.N. (1994) Dietary and environment factors affecting skin strength in broiler chickens. Poultry Science 73: 224235CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Edwards, H.M., Denman, F., Abou-Ashour, A. and Nugara, D. (1973) Carcass composition studies. 1. Influence of age, sex, and type of dietary fat supplementation on total carcass and fatty acid composition. Poultry Science 52: 934943CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Enos, H.I. (1972) Propionic acid effects on litter aflatoxin levels and breast blisters in turkeys. Poultry Science 51: 18691870Google Scholar
Ferket, P.R. (1991) Management of leg problems and breast buttons. Proceedings of the 7th Minnesota Poultry Workshop pp. 47–49Google Scholar
Fort, M. (1983) A comparison of turkeys fattened in cages, or grid floors or on deep litter. Zivocisna Vyroba 28: 607613Google Scholar
Funk, E.M. and Savage, J.E. (1956) The incidence of breast blisters as related to the amount of breast feathering. Poultry Science 35: 13991400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gonder, E.C. (1991) The etiology and pathogenesis of focal ulcerative dermatitis of turkeys. PhD Thesis, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North CarolinaGoogle Scholar
Gonder, E. and Barnes, H.J. (1987) Focal ulcerative dermatitis (“breast button”) in market turkeys. Avian Diseases 31: 5258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gonder, E. and Barnes, H.J. (1989) The effect of pressure on turkey breast skin. Avian Diseases 33: 714718CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Green, J.A., McCracken, R.M. and Evans, R.T. (1985) A contact dermatitis of broilers: clinical and pathological findings. Avian Pathology 14: 2338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gyles, N.R., Gilbreath, J.C. and Smith, R.M. (1957) Incidence of breast blisters within and between different breeding groups for broilers. Poultry Science 36: 1124Google Scholar
Harris, G.C., Musbah, M., Sellers, R., Benson, J., Scogin, V. and Waldroup, P.W. (1980) Effects on feathering and incidence of breast blisters in broilers of dietary sorbic and litter treatment with potassium sorbate. Poultry Science 59: 1564Google Scholar
Hodgson, G.C. and Gutteridge, H.S. (1941) A progress report from Canada of research on breast blisters. US Egg Poultry 47: 150155, 192Google Scholar
Kafri, I., Cherry, J.A., Jones, D.E. and Siegel, P.B. (1985) Breaking strength and composition of the skin of broiler chicks: response to dietary calorie:protein ratios. Poultry Science 64: 21432149CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kamyab, A. (1997) Studies on the etiology of enlarged sternal bursa and focal ulcerative dermatitis on market tom turkeys. PhD Thesis, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, USAGoogle Scholar
Kamyab, A., Noll, S.L., El Halawani, M. and Shaw, D. (1995) Effects of litter characteristics and lighting regimens on the development of focal ulcerative dermatitis, breast blister and performance of market tom turkeys. Gobbles October, pp. 811Google Scholar
Kamyab, A., Shaw, D., Noll, S.L. and El Halawani, M. (1996) The effects of management on the occurrence of breast lesions in market tom turkeys. Poultry Science 75 (Supplement): 6Google Scholar
Kondra, P.R. and Cavers, J.R. (1947) Relation of the rate of feathering to the development of keel bursa. Poultry Science 26: 8385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Koonz, C.H., Strandine, E.J. and Grey, R.E. (1963) A study of factors responsible for keel blisters in poultry. Poultry Science 42: 1281Google Scholar
Lerner, S.P. (1996) Breast blisters. Proceedings of 12th Minnesota Poultry Workshop pp. 47–49Google Scholar
Lucas, A.M. and Stettenheim, P.R. (1972) Avian Anatomy: Integument. Agriculture Handbook 362, Part II, USDA, Washington, DC, pp. 514531Google Scholar
Martland, M.F. (1984) Wet litter as a cause of plantar pododermatitis, leading to foot ulceration and lameness in fattening turkeys. Avian Pathology 13: 241252CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Matoltsy, A.G. (1969) Keratinization of avian epidermis. An ultrastmctural study of the newborn chick skin. Journal of Ultrastructure Research 29: 438458CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
May, K.N. and Noles, R.K. (1965) Effects of hesperidin and litter moisture on growth and carcass defects of broliers. Poultry Science 44: 844848CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Miner, M.L. and Smart, R.A. (1975) Causes of enlarged sternal bursa (breast blister). Avian Diseases 19: 246256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Neufeld, J.L. (1989) Breast button in confined turkeys. Proceedings of the Vth International Symposium, World Association of Veterinary Laboratory DiagnosticiansGuelph, Ontario, Canada Abstract 59Google Scholar
Newberry, R.C. (1992) Influence of photoperiod and toe clipping on breast buttons of turkeys. Poultry Science 71: 14711479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Newberry, R.C. (1993) The role of temperature and litter type in the development of breast buttons in turkeys. Poultry Science 72: 467474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nixey, C. (1994) Lighting for the production and welfare of turkeys. World's Poultry Science Journal 50: 292294Google Scholar
Óneil, J.B. (1943) Morphology of so-called “breast blisters”. Poultry Science 22: 457458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pass, D.A. (1989) The pathology of the avian integument a review. Avian Pathology 18: 172CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Quarles, C.L. and Kling, H.F. (1974) Evaluation of ammonia and infectious bronchitis vaccination stress on broiler performance and carcass quality. Poultry Science 53: 15921596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rapliska, L.D. (1962) Factors affecting the incidence of blisters in young market turkeys. MS Thesis, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USAGoogle Scholar
Satava, M., Elahi, H. and Fort, M. (1977) Turkey chicken fattening: comparing the results of different technological systems. Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica, Universitas Agriculturue Praga 10: 191206Google Scholar
Shoffner, R.N. and Canfield, T.H. (1957) Keel defects in males ranged with and without roosts. Poultry Science 36: 445446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smith, T.W., Couch, J.R., Garrett, R.L. and Creger, C.R. (1977) The effect of sex, dietary energy, meat protein, ascorbic acid and iron on broiler skin collagen. Poultry Science 56: 12161220CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Spearman, R.I.C. (1971) Integumentary system. In: Physiology and Biochemistry of the Domestic Fowl (Bell, D.J. and Freeman, B.M., Eds), Volume 2, Academic Press, London, pp. 603620Google Scholar
Stephensen, E.L., Bezanson, M.J. and Hall, C.F. (1960) Factors affecting the incidence and severity of a breast blister condition in broilers. Poultry Science 39: 15201524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tilley, B.J., Barnes, H.J., Rives, D.V. and Gerig, T.M. (1990) Effect of litter type on FUD (“breast button”) in male turkeys. Poultry Science 69 (Supplement): 195Google Scholar
Tilley, B.J., Barnes, H.J., Scott, R., Rives, D.V., Brewer, C.E. and Gerig, T.M. (1996) Litter and commercial turkey strain influence of focal ulcerative dermatitis (“breast button”). Journal of Applied Poultry Research 5: 3950CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Welty, J.C. (1975) The Life of Birds. Alfred A. Knopf Inc., New YorkGoogle Scholar
Wessels, N.K. (1967) Differentiation of epidermis and epidermal derivatives. New England Journal of Medicine 277: 2132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wisman, E.L. and Beane, W.L. (1965) Effect of some management factors on the incidence of breast blister in heavy broilers. Poultry Science 44: 737744CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Enlarged sternal bursa and focal ulcerative dermatitis in male turkeys
Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Enlarged sternal bursa and focal ulcerative dermatitis in male turkeys
Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Enlarged sternal bursa and focal ulcerative dermatitis in male turkeys
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *