A force plate study of avian gait

Sandra A. Corr*, Caroline McCorquodale, John McDonald, Mike Gentle, Rod McGovern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To test the force plate as a gait analysis system for broilers and to determine how the ground reaction force (GRF) patterns change in these birds with growth and administration of analgesia. Materials and methods: Thirty-three male Ross 308 chicks were raised on either an ad libitum or restricted-feeding regime, and subsequently treated with carprofen or a placebo. Vertical, craniocaudal and mediolateral GRFs were measured as the birds walked across a standard force plate. Results: The data were easy to collect, and peak vertical forces of an equivalent percentage of bodyweight as seen in human walking were identified. Mediolateral forces were 2-3 times greater than those demonstrated in other species. GRF patterns showed significant changes during growth, but analgesia did not have a significant effect on the speed of walking, or GRF patterns. Conclusions and clinical relevance: The force plate is a suitable research tool for recording GRFs from avian bipeds. The large mediolateral forces identify a particularly inefficient aspect of avian gait; however, the role of pain remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2037-2043
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number9
Publication statusPrint publication - 5 Jun 2007


  • Analgesia
  • Avian
  • Bipedal
  • Force plate
  • Gait


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