Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista Brasileira de Ciência Avícola]]> vol. 16 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Feeding behaviour of broiler chickens: a review on the biomechanical characteristics</b>]]> Feed related costs are the main drivers of profitability of commercial poultry farms, and good nutrition is mainly responsible for the exceptional growth rate responses of current poultry species. So far, most research on the poultry feeding behaviour addresses the productivity indices and birds' physiological responses, but few studies have considered the biomechanical characteristics involved in this process. This paper aims to review biomechanical issues related to feed behaviour of domestic chickens to address some issues related to the feed used in commercial broiler chicken production, considering feed particle size, physical form and the impact of feeders during feeding. It is believed that the biomechanical evaluation might suggest a new way for feed processing to meet the natural feeding behaviour of the birds. <![CDATA[<b>Sunflower meal and enzyme supplementation of the diet of 21- to 42-d-old broilers</b>]]> The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of male broilers between 21 and 42 days of age fed diets supplemented with an enzyme blend (EB) and containing graded levels of sunflower meal (SFM). In total, 1920 male Cobb broilers were distributed according to a randomized block experimental design in a 4 x 3 factorial arrangement (four SFM dietary levels vs. three feed formulations) with eight replicates of 20 birds each. Dietary SFM inclusion levels were 0, 8, 16, and 24%. Feed formulation included one negative control diet (NC) formulated to supply broiler nutritional requirements, considering EB nutritional matrix values; a diet formulated as the first one, but with the addition of 0.5% EB (NC+EB); and the third diet (positive control - PC) was calculated to supply broiler requirements. Feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, and carcass parameters were evaluated. There was no effect of EB dietary supplementation on the evaluated performance or carcass parameters (p > 0.05). Increasing dietary addition of SFM reduced weight gain and worsened feed conversion ratio (p > 0.05). The best EEI was obtained with the NC+EB diet containing 8.0% SFM. <![CDATA[<b>Use of nicarbazin, salinomycin and zinc oxide as alternative molting methods for commercial laying hens</b>]]> An experiment was carried out to evaluate the performance, egg quality and morphometry of the reproductive tract, liver, pancreas and tongue of laying hens submitted to different molting methods. Two hundred and eighty eight 72-week-old Isa brown layers were distributed according to a completely randomized design with six treatments (molting methods) and six replicates of eight birds each. Layers were fed diets containing 3000 ppm zinc oxide, 60 ppm or 120 ppm nicarbazin, 30 ppm or 60 ppm salinomycin, or were submitted to feed fasting. Data were submitted to analysis of variance and means were compared by the test of Tukey at 5% probability level. Molting methods alternative to feed fasting were effective to induce molting in layer and provided good performance results in the second laying cycle. <![CDATA[<b>Identification of the capsule type of <i>Pasteurella multocida</i> isolates from cases of fowl cholera by multiplex PCR and comparison with phenotypic methods</b>]]> The ability of Pasteurella multocida to invade and multiply in its host is enhanced by the presence of the capsule, one of the most important virulence factors for this bacterium. Capsular typing methods are often used in epidemiological and pathogenesis studies of this agent. Five different serogroups have been identified based on serological typing. However, such tests are laborious, and agglutination of homologous antiserum may fail. The aim of this study was to develop a multiplex PCR protocol for the identification of the hyaD-hyaC and dcbF genes specific to serogroups A and D, respectively, and to compare these results with those of phenotypic tests for 54 strains isolated from fowl cholera cases in southern Brazil. The kappa coefficient and chisquare statistics were calculated to assess the agreement between the diagnostic methods and to determine the significance of the results, respectively. The multiplex PCR was able to detect the evaluated genes. Forty-nine strains (90.74%) were classified into serogroup A, and only two isolates (3.7%) were not identified as belonging to any of the serogroups analyzed. In contrast, with the phenotypic tests, only 41 strains (75.93%) were classified into serogroup A and 11 samples (20.37%) were unidentifiable. Of the strains analyzed, 70.37% were classified into the same serogroup (A) by both methods, and the kappa coefficient (k = 0.017) indicated poor agreement between the tests. Thus, multiplex PCR is an alternative for P. multocida capsular typing, as it allows the simultaneous and rapid detection of genes and also provides a greater strain-typing capacity. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of different vitamin D sources and calcium levels in the diet of layers in the second laying cycle</b>]]> This study evaluated the effects of different sources of vitamin D and calcium levels on performance, egg quality and bone strength of hens in the second production cycle. A total of 384 Hy-Line W36 birds with 80 weeks of age were used, alloted into 3 x 4 factorial design (sources of vitamin D: cholecalciferol; 25(OH)D3 and 1.25(OH)2D3 x calcium levels: 2.85, 3.65; 4.45 and 5.25%) with four replicates and eight birds each. The performance was evaluated for three cycles of 28 days each, egg quality was evaluated in the last four days of each cycle and bone strength on the last day of the experimental period. There was no interaction (p &gt; 0.05) between the different sources of vitamin D and calcium levels in all parameters evaluated. There was a quadratic effect (p < 0.05) of calcium levels in egg production and feed conversion (kg/kg and kg/dz), with better results at levels of 4.12%, 4.09% and 4.14%, respectively. Calcium levels had no effect (p &gt; 0.05) in the egg weight and Haugh unit, but there was a linear increase (p < 0.05) in the percentage and eggshell thickness, in specific gravity and bone strength. The different sources of vitamin D influenced (p < 0.05) the egg production rate, feed conversion, egg weight and Haugh unit. Thus, the results of this study suggest that the recommended calcium level for laying on second cycle is between 4.09% and 4.14% and that the metabolites cholecalciferol and 25(OH)D3 improved the performance and egg quality. Regarding bone strength was improved as the calcium levels were increased in diets. <![CDATA[<b>High-fiber diets with reduced crude protein for commercial layers</b>]]> This study aimed at evaluating diets containing different fiber sources and two crude protein levels on the performance, egg quality, and nitrogen metabolism of commercial layers. In total, 392 48-wk-old Isa Brown layers were distributed according to a completely randomized experimental design in a 3x2+1 (control) factorial arrangement, resulting in seven treatments with seven replicates of eight birds each. Treatments consisted of three fiber feedstuffs (cottonseed hulls, soybean hulls, and rice hulls) and two dietary crude protein levels (12% and 16%). Cottonseed hulls associated with the high crude protein level (16%) resulted in the worst feed conversion ratio per dozen eggs. Diets with 16% crude protein resulted in the highest feed intake, egg production, egg weight, egg mass values, and improved feed conversion ratio (kg eggs/kg feed). The dietary inclusion of soybean hulls determined low yolk pigmentation, and of rice hulls, low egg specific gravity. The 16% crude protein diet with rice hulls promoted the best feed conversion ratio. Hens fed the reference diet presented higher egg mass and better feed conversion ratio per kg eggs and per dozen eggs. Hens fed the diets with low crude protein level (12%) had reduced nitrogen excretion, but presented worse egg production. <![CDATA[<b>Single-trait bayesian analysis of some growth traits in japanese quail</b>]]> The aim of this study was to estimate the heritability for some growth traits of Japanese quail through the estimation of variance components by Bayesian methodology. For this purpose, 340 progenies of 34 sires were used. Live weight (LW42) and absolute and relative growth rates at 42 days of age (AGR42 and RGR42, respectively) were submitted to single-trait analysis under a sire model. A software (package MCMCglmm) was used for the estimations, and a single chain with 65,000 rounds was run for each trait with a thinning interval of 50. Burn-in was set at 15,000 and inferences were built on posterior samples of 1,000 draws for each trait. All marginal posterior densities were unimodal and marginal posterior distributions of sire variance are slightly skewed to the right. The results of the analyses showed high, moderate, and low heritability of LW42, AGR42, and RGR42, respectively. <![CDATA[<b>Salmonella serovars in laying hen flocks and commercial table eggs from a region of São Paulo state, Brazil</b>]]> Salmonella spp. is the main originator of human foodborne diseases worldwide and is mainly transmitted by food containing eggs. In Brazil, as a result of the lack of studies and data collection very little is known about the prevalence of Salmonella spp. in laying hen flocks and commercial table eggs. Consequently the present study was elaborated and aimed at generating data about Salmonella spp. in part of the Brazilian egg production chain. Eight flocks of day-old chicks, eight flocks of adult laying hens (four vaccinated with bacterin against Salmonella Enteritidis and four unvaccinated) and commercial table eggs from four supermarkets were examined. Salmonella spp. was isolated in 50 % of the newly hatched chicks, 25 % of the adult flocks and 1.5 % of egg samples examined. S. enterica subsp. enterica 4,12:r:-, S. Mbandaka, S. enterica subsp. enterica 6,7: z10:-, S. Enteritidis and S. Havana were the serovars isolated in birds. In commercial table-eggs S. Mbandaka, S. enterica subsp. enterica 6,7: z10:- and S. Braenderup were isolated. These results show that Salmonella spp. is present in laying hen flocks and consequently in eggs destined for human consumption. Probably, some of the Salmonella serovars are being introduced in egg farms by vertical via. <![CDATA[<b>The effect of arginine dietary supplementation in broiler breeder hens on offspring humoral and cell-mediated immune responses</b>]]> The influence of supplementing the diet of broiler breeder hens with arginine (Arg) on their offspring's humoral and cell-mediated immune response was evaluated in two experiments. In experiments I and II, breeder hens were fed diets containing graded levels of Arg (0.943, 1.093, 1.243, 1.393 and 1.543% digestible Arg). In experiment I, the offspring was randomly grouped according to the treatment received by the breeder hens, with five levels of Arg in the maternal diet and six replicates, giving a total 30 experimental units. In experiment II, the offspring were grouped in accordance with the treatment received by the breeder hens; however, Arg was added to the starter diet (1.300, 1.450, 1.600, 1.750 and 1.900% digestible Arg) and also the growing diet (1.150, 1.300, 1.450, 1.600 and 1.750% digestible Arg). Supplementation of the broiler breeder hen diet did not influence (p &gt; 0.05) the development of the lymphoid organs (cloacal bursa, thymus and spleen) of the offspring, whether their diet were supplemented or not. Nevertheless, greater weight and dimensions cloacal bursa were found in the supplemented offspring in comparison with the nonsupplemented offspring. Macrophage phagocytic activity was found to be unaffected (p &gt; 0.05), independently of the Arg supplementation. The offspring fed with supplemented diets showed a linear reduction in the antibody titer against Newcastle Disease (p < 0.05) at seven days of age, and a quadratic response (p < 0.05) at 28 days of age. The antibody titer in the non-supplemented offspring was not influenced (p &gt; 0.05) by the breeder hen diet. This study concluded that supplementing the breeder hen diet with arginine is insufficient to improve the humoral and cellular immune response, requiring supplementation of the offspring diet. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of a commercial ELISA kit (IDEXX) to differentiate AI virus-infected poultry from AI-vaccinated poultry (DIVA)</b>]]> Vaccination programs for the control of avian influenza (AI) in poultry have limitations due to the problem of differentiating between vaccinated and virus-infected birds. The use of AI vaccination in poultry would have greater worldwide acceptance if reliable tests that clearly discriminated between naturally infected and vaccinated-only animals (DIVA) were available. In this study, to differentiate avian influenza virus (AIV)-infected chickens vs. chickens immunized with inactivated avian influenza virus, a commercial ELISA Kit (IDEXX) was used. Using HI as the reference method, the sensitivity of the commercial ELISA kit was 100% and its specificity was 100%. In the present study, we demonstrated that, 3 weeks after infection or vaccination, sera from both infected and vaccinated groups were tested positive and the difference in mean optical density between vaccinated and challenged birds, as detected by a commercial ELISA kit (IDEXX), was very small. Therefore, this assay cannot distinguish infected from vaccinated poultry. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of babassu meal in feed for layer hens during the growth phase</b>]]> Studies were conducted to evaluate the nutritional value and inclusion levels of babassu meal (BM) in the diet of grower layer pullets in substitution to wheat meal. Digestibility, metabolism and growth trials were conducted. Twelve cecectomized roosters were used in the digestibility assay to determine the coefficients of standardized digestibility of amino acids (CSDAA). The metabolism trial was conducted with 30 adult roosters to determine the apparent metabolizable energy corrected for nitrogen (AMEn) of BM. A growth trial was performed to determine replacement levels of wheat midds by BM diet using 360 six-week-old commercial layer pullets. BM was included at the 0, 75 and 150 g/kg of BM, during grower and development rearing phases, respectively. Feed intake, body weight gain, and feed conversion were evaluated. BM AMEn was determined as 1,474 kcal/kg, on as-fed basis. The CSDAA determined for BM were below 88% for all AA. The inclusion of BM in the feed of grower layers (7-18 week) significantly decreased feed intake (p < 0.05), but significantly improved body weight gain and feedconversion ratio (p < 0.05) at 15% inclusion level. Considering the nutritional value and performance results, BM can replace wheat midds in diets of grower layer pullets. <![CDATA[<b>Lighting in the shackling area: conciliating broiler welfare with labor comfort</b>]]> The objective of this study was to investigate if blue lighting could reduce broiler stress and comply with legal labor comfort requirements in a new shackling area of a middle-size processing plant. In this study, the old shackling area was compared with the new area, where a blue lighting system was designed and implemented according to the regulations. The old and new areas were video- and audio-recorded during the shackling of 33,850 broilers in each area. Data were statistically analyzed using the non-parametric test of Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney (w test).The results indicated 56% reduction in wing-flapping and 3.2% noise reduction in the new area. These results were obtained by increasing 119% lighting at the work stations in the shackling area, allowing workers to handle the birds more carefully, which may improve processing plant productivity. The study demonstrated that it is possible to conciliate better animal welfare with visual comfort for workers in the shackling area. <![CDATA[<b>Phenotypic and genotypic resistance profile of <i>Salmonella</i> Typhimurium to antimicrobials commonly used in poultry</b>]]> Isolates of Salmonella sp (104) from poultry samples were isolated and serotyped where eleven were identified as Salmonella Typhimurium (ST). ST isolates were phenotypically tested by disk diffusion and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Four genes related to enrofloxacin (GyrA, GyrB, ParC and ParE), two to gentamicin (AadA and AadB) and two to ceftiofur (BlaCMY-2 and AmpC) resistance were searched by PCR. Our results showed ST resistance to all three antibiotics tested (18.1% for ceftiofur, 45.4% for gentamicin, and 18.1% for enrofloxacin) according to the diffusion test. In the MIC test, the ST isolates showed higher levels of resistance (27.2% for ceftiofur, 54.5% for gentamicin, and 18.2% for enrofloxacin). Three resistance genes out of four searched genes for enrofloxacin were found in the ST isolates. Regarding gentamicin and ceftiofur, resistance genes were found mainly in samples with resistant phenotypic profile. Interestingly, some phenotypically-resistant strains did not present the resistance gene, which suggests an alternative route of resistance. Also, sensitive strains had the presence of the gene. It is possible to conclude that the ST isolates evaluated in this study have a multidrug resistance profile to the antibiotics routinely used in poultry production, and potential of greater levels of resistance in the near future. <![CDATA[<b>Classification of the coefficients of variation of parameters evaluated in Japanese quail experiments</b>]]> The objective of this study was to design a classification range of the coefficients of variation (CV) of traits used in experiments with eggtype Japanese quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica). The journal Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia was systematically reviewed, using the key word 'quail' during the period of January, 2000 to 2010. The CV of feed intake (g/bird/d), egg production (%/bird/d), egg weight (g), egg mass (g/bird/d), feed conversion ratio per dozen eggs (g/dozen), feed conversion ratio per egg mass (g/g), and egg specific gravity (g/mL) were collected. For each parameter, CV were classified using the following median (MD) and pseudo-sigma (PS) ratio as follows: low (CV < MD - PS), medium (MD - PS < CV < MD + PS), high (MD + PS < CV < MD + 2PS) and very high (CV &gt; MD + 2PS). According to the results, it was concluded that each parameter has a specific classification range that should be taken into account when evaluating experimental precision. <![CDATA[<b>Eggshell apex abnormalities in a free-range hen farm with mycoplasma synoviae and infectious bronchitis virus in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil</b>]]> A farm with 3,000 free-range hens between 24 and 65 weeks of age was investigated. These hens were separated in small flocks of 400 to 700 birds, presenting 10 to 23% egg production reduction. Twenty serum samples were collected during the period of drop in egg production and three weeks later for the investigation of Mycoplasma synoviae (MS), M. gallisepticum (MG) and Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) antibodies using ELISA. At the time of the second collection, egg production had resumed to normal levels; however, with 10.23% of the eggs showed eggshell abnormalities limited to the apex. Eggshell strength was significantly different between normal and those with eggshell apex abnormalities, but not other egg-quality parameters. ELISA tests showed that MS and IBV titers increased during the evaluated period. MS infection was confirmed by culture and by PCR of tracheal swabs. All samples were negative for MG by ELISA and PCR. Further studies with larger samples to ensure the occurrence of this disease in industrial layer flocks in Brazil are under way.