Self-selection of the analgesic drug carprofen by lame broiler chickens

Vet Rec. 2000 Mar 11;146(11):307-11. doi: 10.1136/vr.146.11.307.


Lame and sound broilers, selected from commercial flocks, were trained to discriminate between different coloured feeds, one of which contained carprofen. The two feeds were then offered simultaneously and the birds were allowed to select their own diet from the two feeds. In an initial study to assess the most appropriate concentration of drug, the plasma concentrations of carprofen were linearly related to the birds' dietary intake. The walking ability of lame birds was also significantly improved in a dose-dependent manner and lame birds tended to consume more analgesic than sound birds. In a second study, in which only one concentration of analgesic was used, lame birds selected significantly more drugged feed than sound birds, and that as the severity of the lameness increased, lame birds consumed a significantly higher proportion of the drugged feed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Carbazoles / administration & dosage*
  • Carbazoles / pharmacology
  • Chickens*
  • Conditioning, Operant
  • Diet
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Lameness, Animal*
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / veterinary*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Carbazoles
  • carprofen