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Title: Effect of heat and physiological stress on the growth performance, physiology and welfare of broiler chickens
Author: Iyasere, Oluwaseun Serah
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 6905
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2014
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Broilers can be faced with a several stressful conditions during their production cycle which can have implications for both growth performance and animal welfare. Animal welfare encompasses the physical and mental well-being of animals, assessed from the biological functioning and subjective experience. The aims of this thesis were i) to develop and validate non-invasive means of assessing the welfare of broilers under physiological and episodic heat stress conditions, ii) to investigate the impact of episodic heat stress, physiological stress and light wavelength on the growth performance, physiology and welfare of broiler chickens and, finally, iii) to investigate a novel means of alleviating heat stress in broilers. Endogenous corticosterone measured in the urate sphere was suppressed by dexamethasone administration. In a cognitive bias task, birds offered mealworms injected with corticosterone to mimic chronic stress were pessimistic in their judgement about ambiguous positions. A positive correlation was established between physiological indicators of stress and cognitive bias. Although light wavelength was confounded with light intensity in our study, there was no difference in growth performance and cognitive ability of birds reared in the blue and red light, except for increased activity of birds in red light. Under simulated episodic heat stress, the change in CBT measured from a temperature-ID chip (ΔCBT-chip) and a data logger (ΔCBT-logger) was positively correlated. Significant positive correlations were found between the change in surface body temperature (SBT) under wing (ΔWT) and ΔCBT-chip, and between ΔWT and ΔCBT-logger. Significant positive regression equations relating change in CBT and RR with apparent equivalent temperature (a factor which combines environmental temperature and RH) were also developed. High temperature coupled with high RH aggravated the respiratory rate (RR) of broilers and this was accompanied by suppression of peening behaviour. High heat stress for 3 hours had a greater impact on birds than moderate heat stress for 6 hours. For broilers exposed to moderate heat stress, the provision of additional cup drinkers reduced the rise in CBT and the proportion of time spent in wing drooping behaviour, but enhanced SBTs suggesting increased heat dissipation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun state, Nigeria
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available