Midday and Nighttime Cooling of Broiler Chickens

J. C. Segura, J. J. R. Feddes, M. J. Zuidhof
2006 Journal of Applied Poultry Research  
Hot weather along with high stocking densities can lead to high mortality and decreased performance of broilers, especially during the last week of rearing. Two trials were conducted to test the hypotheses that reduced nighttime and midday temperatures improve broiler live performance and reduce mortality under warm cyclic temperature conditions. In each trial, groups of 306 male broilers were placed in each of 6 environmentally controlled chambers. The warm temperature treatments were control,
more » ... ments were control, nighttime cooling, and midday cooling (4 replicates). In the control treatment, diurnal temperatures ranged between 15 and 25°C on d 29 and progressively increased to between 20 and 35°C on d 42. In trial 2, 2 additional chambers housed broilers under thermoneutral conditions. No differences in feed consumption were found within or between trials due to the temperature treatments. The cooling treatments did not improve BW, weight gain, feed conversion, or livability. The birds housed under thermoneutral conditions did not have improved BW. These results suggest that broilers subjected to regular warm cyclic temperature fluctuations for 2 wk prior to shipping are able to acclimatize with no negative impact on BW. Effective environmental temperatures predicted from broiler surface thermal resistance and thermal mass were within 5°C among the treatments.
doi:10.1093/japr/15.1.28 fatcat:3tbhessapbezborabfl5hc54su