Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science]]> vol. 20 num. 3 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[The effects of Post-Hatch Feeding with Betaine on the Intestinal Development of Broiler Chickens]]> ABSTRACT The capacity of the chicken intestinal tract to digest and absorb nutrients is not fully developed on the day of hatch. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of betaine on the intestinal development of broiler chickens, including brush border enzyme activities indices and morphological changes during the first week of growth. Fiftyone-day-old Ross 308 broiler chickens were randomly distributed into five groups: control (C), low methionine(LM), low methionine plus betaine (LM+B), betaine 1 (B1) and betaine 2 (B2). Betaine was dissolved with a concentration of 500 mg/L in the drinking water of LM+B and B1groups and a concentration of 1000 mg/L in the B2 group. Histological assessment showed lower duodenal crypt depth and villi height/crypt depth ratio in B1 as compared to C. Jejunal villi height of B2birds was significantly higher than that of C birds, whereas jejunal crypt depth values of both B2 and LM birds were higher relative to LM+B and C birds. Betaine-fed groups had significantly a thicker ileal muscularis mucosa layer than C and LM groups. Duodenal and jejunal g-glutamyl transferase activity was significantly higher in B2birds in LM birds. Alkaline phosphatase activity in all three segments of the small intestine was significantly higher in the LM birds than in other groups. Jejunal alanine aminopeptidase activity in LM birds was significantly higher than in other groups, particularly in B1 and B2. The results suggest that betaine may be a promising agent to promote the intestinal development of broilers fed low-methionine or standard diets. <![CDATA[Analysis of Behavioural Profile of Hens with the Use of Computer Software]]> ABSTRACT The aim of the study was to evaluate the emotional reactivity of hens with the use of physical parameters such as movement velocity and position of the selected parts of the body analysed by computer software - Tracker®. 200 Rhode Island White hens kept individually in a laying hen breeding farm were used in the study. The analysis of hens behaviour was performed with the use of Novel Object Test. Afterwards the video clips were analysed to determine behavioural reactivity with the use of Tracker® software by analysis of two control points: the upper part of the head and the peak of the tail. The results suggest that it is possible to use Tracker® software for evaluation of hens behavioural profile and this sort of analysis enables to classify hens to the groups of timid or curious/courageous birds based on the parameters of movement velocity of the upper part of the head and the peak of the tail and on the basis of the ratio between the position of the head and the tail. <![CDATA[Occurrence and Epidemiology of Fannia Spp. (Diptera: Fanniidae) in Laying Poultry Farms in State of Minas Gerais, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Aspects related to epidemiology of flies belonging to Fannia genus were studied in order to determine predisposing factors for its occurrence in layer hens houses of commercial farms in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. An observational, analytical and sectional survey was conducted to verify major epidemiological aspects associated to infestations. This research was accomplished starting from an adapted secondary database of and structured with information on the presence and absence of ectoparasites and arthropods, characteristics of chicken houses, the poultry, type of facilities, geographical location and the management. The study was conducted in four hundred and thirty one houses located in forty three farms visited in 2012 year in the state of Minas Gerais. Ten farms (23.25%) and sixty eight houses (15,77%) were observed the presence diptera belonging to Fannia genus. The specie Fannia admirabilis was found in four farms (9,30%), Fannia albitarsis in two farms (4,65%) and only in one farm (2.32%) was observed the presence of Fannia canicularis. For three farms 6,98% was no possible to identify the species only Fannia genus. The epidemiological aspects for the occurrence of these flies were investigated using Poisson regression models. Characteristics such as farm, city of farm, presence of Histeridae beetles, type of facility (cage, on the floor with or without bedding) and the existence of mechanical removal of manure were associated with the occurrence of Fannia spp. <![CDATA[Haematological and Serum Biochemical Responses of Ovambo Chickens Fed Provitamin A Biofortified Maize]]> ABSTRACT The current study was conducted to investigate the influence of provitamin A biofortified maize (PABM) diet, sex and age of birds on the haematological and serum biochemistry parameters of indigenous chickens. A total of ninety-six 13 week old male and female Ovambo chickens were reared and fed on either white maize (WM) a low vitamin A diet or a PABM based diet for eight weeks. Each diet was replicated four times. Packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin (Hb), erythrocyte concentration (RBC), leucocytes concentration (WBC), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) were measured. Albumin (ALB), globulin (GLOB), total proteins (TP), triglycerides (TRI), cholesterol (CHOLES), uric acid (UA) and creatinine (CREAT) concentrations were assessed. The activity of alanine transaminase (ALT) alkaline phosphate (ALP) and aspartate transaminanse (AST) were also assayed. The PABM diet increased (p&lt;0.05) PCV and WBC of female birds. All mean values for the haematological parameters regardless of the age, sex and diets were within the normal range. Age had an effect (p&lt;0.05) on ALT, TP, GLOB, TRI and UA. Sex of the birds significantly influenced the TP, GLOB, ALB, CREAT and TRI levels. There was significant interaction of diet and age of bird on ALP, ALT, and GLOB concentrations. The cholesterol level in 18 weeks old male birds fed on the WM diet was above the normal range. In conclusion, feeding PABM diet to female and male indigenous chickens will not negatively impact on the health status of indigenous chickens. <![CDATA[Comparison of Some Relative Gene Expressions in the Yolk Sac Membrane and Small Intestine of the Embryos in the Layer Hybrid and Pure Breeds]]> ABSTRACT Pure breeds are important due to the fact that they adapt well to poor husbandry conditions. However, gene expression of digestive enzymes and nutrient transporters of pure breeds and layer hybrids have not been studied yet. Therefore, this study was directed to detect the gene expression of digestive enzymes and nutrient transporters in the yolk sac membrane and small intestine of the embryos in layer hybrid and pure breeds. A total of 354 hatching eggs were collected from 29 wk old Denizli, Gerze and Lohman White (LW) breeder flocks. Twelve eggs from each genotype were selected at embryonic day 19 (E19) and day 21 (E21). APN, SI, PepT1, EAAT3, CAT1, B0AT, SGLT1 and GLUT5 mRNA expressions were evaluated in the yolk sac membrane (YSM) and small intestine of the embryos from different genotypes. Expressions of APN and EAAT3 in the small intestine of Denizli embryo were upregulated from E19 to E21. B0AT, PepT1 and SGLT1 expressions were upregulated in the small intestine of pure breed and layer hybrid embryos with increasing embryonic age. SI expression in the small intestine of the LW embryos was upregulated from E19 to E21. APN, B0AT and EAAT3 expressions in the YSM of Denizli embryos were dowregulated from E19 to E21. EAAT3 and SGLT1 expressions in the YSM of Gerze embryos were upregulated at E21 and compared to E19. Taken together, our results indicate that genotype and embryonic age influenced the expression of digestive enzymes and nutrient transporter genes in the small intestine and YSM of embryos. <![CDATA[Effects of Different Types of Red Ginseng Marc and Fermented Red Koji Blend as Feed Additives on Blood Parameters and Egg Yolk Fatty Acid Profiles of Laying Hens]]> ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of three different forms (powder, pellet, and coated pellet) of red ginseng marc (RGM) and fermented red koji (FRK) feed additive on the blood parameters and fatty acid (FA) profiles of laying hens, after two months of dietary supplementation. A number of 240 40-week-old Hy-line Brown laying hens were randomly designated to four dietary treatments, each with six replicates of 10 hens each, in a completely randomized design. The control group was fed a basal diet, and the other three treatments groups were fed 1% RGM powder mixed with FRK, pellets of 1% RGM with FRK, and coated pellets of 1% RGM with FRK. The powder and coated pellet diets contained the lowest total cholesterol and glucose levels, respectively, whereas the coated pellet diet contained the highest HDL cholesterol level, compared to the basal diet of the control group. For FA profiles, significant differences (p&lt;0.05) were observed among the groups with regard to the percentages of myristoleic acid, palmitoleic acid, margaric acid, margaroleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, a-linolenic acid, eicosenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid. Moreover, addition of different forms of the RGM and FRK blend to the hen’s diets showed an increase (p&lt;0.05) in the relative percentages of unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) and the UFA: SFA ratio and a decrease (p&lt;0.05) in the relative percentages of saturated fatty acids (SFA) in the egg yolk, compared to the control group. In conclusion, dietary coated pellets of RGM and FRK as a feed additive blend had a beneficial effect on serum cholesterol and FA profiles in laying hens. <![CDATA[Alternative Transcription of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma in the Liver Is Associated with Fatness of Chickens]]> ABSTRACT The expression of four transcription variant of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma gene (PPARG) (XM_015292931.1; XM_015292932.1; XM_015292933.1 and NM_001001460.1) in the liver of broilers was measured and its correlation with abdominal fat weight and relative abdominal fat content was investigated. The study was conducted with 92 slow-growing crossbred chickens (Cobb males x indigenous Green-legged Partridge female chickens) divided into “fat” and “lean” groups, according to their abdominal fat yield. The NM_001001460.1 transcriptwas upregulated with ratio of means 4.26 (p≤0.01) in the “fat” group in relation to the “lean” group. Expression of this transcript was highly correlated with relative abdominal fat content (0.71, p≤0.01) and abdominal fat weight (0.59, p≤0.01). Two SNPs are located in putative transcription factor binding sites. Mutation -991C&gt;A disrupts PPAR while mutation -884C&gt;T disrupts C/EBP putative binding site. The gene expression analysis of PPARg showed that the expression of the transcripts (NM_001001460.1) was more than four times higher in fat than in lean chickens. These results point out that the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma NM_001001460.1 transcript could be candidate gene for determination of abdominal fat deposition in the chickens. <![CDATA[Subsequent Effect of Dietary Lysine Regimens Fed in the Starter Phase on the Growth Performance, Carcass Traits and Meat Chemical Composition of Aseel Chicken in the Grower Phase]]> ABSTRACT This study was designed to examine carryover effect of dietary lysine (Lys) levels fed during the starter phase on the growth performance of three varieties of Aseel chickens. A total of 378 birds (126 from each variety) derived from a previous experiment, in which birds were distributed according a randomized block design in a 3×3 factorial arrangement, were evaluated from 7-18 weeks of age. Treatments consisted of three varieties of Aseel chicken [(Mianwali (MW), Peshawari (PW) and Lakha (LK)] fed three dietary Lys regimes (high, medium and low) during the starter phase (0-6 weeks). In the present experiment, the performance parameters, carcass traits, and meat chemical composition six replicates of seven birds per treatment were evaluated. The MW variety exhibited higher weight gain and better feed to gain ratio (p&lt;0.05). Previous medium dietary Lys regimen improved weight gain, feed to gain ratio, final weight gain (p≤0.05). Birds previously fed medium dietary Lys showed higher thigh dry matter content (p&lt;0.05), and those previously fed low Lys significantly higher thigh crude protein (CP) content (p&lt;0.05). The highest breast muscle CP % were observed birds previously fed the high Lys regime (p&lt;0.05), those of the MW variety (p&lt;0.05). Higher slaughter weight and carcass weight and yield were obtained in the birds previously fed to medium dietary Lys level (p&lt;0.05), and the MW variety showed overall better carcass traits (p&lt;0.05). It is concluded that medium Lys levels in the starter feed promote subsequent better growth performance and that the MW variety has better carcass traits, it may be used as for rural chicken meat production. <![CDATA[The Effect of High Temperature on Viability, Proliferation, Apoptosis and Anti-oxidant Status of Chicken Embryonic Fibroblast Cells]]> ABSTRACT The effects of oxidative stress induced by high temperature on the cell viability, proliferation, apoptosis and oxidative status of chicken embryonic fibroblasts (CEF) were analyzed. The viability, proliferation, apoptotic and anti-oxidative status were measured after incubating CEF at the temperatures of 37ºC (control) and 40-44ºC (experimental groups) for 6,12 and 24 hours. The results showed that at high temperature (42-43ºC), the viability of CEF cells decreased after 6, 12 and 24 h of incubation, but the difference was significant only at 43ºC. Cell proliferation was significantly reduced at 44oC/6h. The apoptotic rate of CEF cells was increased following heat treatments in a time-dependent manner. ROS formation increased with increasing temperature, but the difference was only significant at 44ºC/6,12h. Heat stress did not significantly affect the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. CAT activity was significantly decreased at 43ºC/24h and 44ºC/12 and 24h. Malondialdehyde (MDA) formation was significantly increased at 43ºC/12h and 44ºC/12 and 24h. In conclusion, heat stress induced the oxidative stress, decreasing the viability, proliferation and anti-oxidative response of CEF cells. <![CDATA[Heat Requirements of Two Layer Strains Placed on Different Dates]]> ABSTRACT This study was conducted to calculate the heat requirements of Hy-line W-36 and Hy-line W-98 layer chicks placed on different dates, and to select one of these strains based on heat requirements and egg prices. An environmentally-controlled, mechanically-ventilated, and fan and pad-cooled house with a capacity of 94,500 chicks was designed. Based on the identification of September as the month with the highest egg prices, placement dates were selected (16th of March, 1st of April, 16th of April, 23rd of April and 1st of May) to coincide with economic egg weight in that month. The heat requirements for a rearing period of 35days of both evaluated strains starting on the above-mentioned dates were calculated using heat and moisture balance method commonly used for livestock and poultry houses. Those placement dates corresponded to economic egg weight dates (with 50-52 g eggs) of 15th of August, 1st of September, 16th of September, 23rd of September and 1st of October. Total heat requirements during the 35-day rearing periods of chicks placed on the identified dates were respectively calculated as 640, 601, 413, 401 and 369 kW/h for Hy-line W-36 and respectively as 778, 732, 551, 539 and 497 kW/h for Hy-line W-98 chicks. September had the highest egg prices for both strains (4.73 and 5.06 US cents/egg). The lowest heat requirement was observed when chicks were placed on the23rd of April. Hy-line W-36 chicks presented higher total heat requirement than Hy-line W-98 chicks. Therefore, 23rd of April as the most economic placement date and Hy-line W-36 as the most cost-effective layer strain. <![CDATA[Taurine Reduces Heat Stress by Regulating the Expression of Heat Shock Proteins in Broilers Exposed to Chronic Heat]]> ABSTRACT The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of taurine on heat stress by evaluating them RNA and protein expressions of HSP90, 70 and 60in Ross broilers. Birds were distributed in a control group (CO) reared at 24ºC, a heat-stress group (HS) maintained at 34°C (weeks 3-5) and not supplemented with taurine, and a heat-stress group (HST) maintained at 34°C (weeks 3-5) and supplemented with 0.1% taurine from 2 weeks of age. The final body weight was significantly higher in the HST group than in the HS group (p&lt;0.05). The mRNA expression of all three genes in the liver and of HSP90 in the muscle were significantly lower in the HST than in the HS group (p&lt;0.05). In the liver, the expression of HSP70 and HSP60 proteins was significantly higher in the HS group compared with the CO and HST groups (p&lt;0.05), while HSP90 expression was not different (p&gt;0.05). In the muscle, HSP70 expression was significantly lower in the HST group than in the CO and HS groups and HSP60 expression was dramatically decreased in HS group, whereas no differences in HSP90 expression were detected among groups. In conclusion, the broilers exposed to heat stress and supplemented with taurine showed lower expressions of heat shock genes and proteins both in the liver and muscle tissues, indicating that taurine supplementation improved broiler thermo-tolerance. <![CDATA[The Effects of Fucoxanthin Dietary Inclusion on the Growth Performance, Antioxidant Metabolism and Meat Quality of Broilers]]> ABSTRACT Fucoxanthin is a major carotenoid found in marine brown algae. This study investigated the impact of fucoxanthin on the growth performance, antioxidant metabolism and meat quality of broilers. Overall, 180 one-day-old male broiler chicks (Ross 308) were assigned to one control group (CONT) and 2 treatment groups (FUCO1 and FUCO2), with six replicates of 10 birds each. The CONT, FUCO1 and FUCO2 birds were fed a basal diet supplemented with 0, 100 and 200 mg/kg of fucoxanthin, respectively. Average body weight gain (BWG), feed intake (FI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were similar among the groups. Fucoxanthin increased catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities and glutathione (GSH) levels (p&lt;0.01), and reduced malondialdehyde (MDA) levels (p&lt;0.01) in the liver, breast and drumstick tissues. The effects of fucoxanthin on drumstick yellowness (b*) on day 3 and water activity (aw) on day 5 and breast lightness (L*) on day 3 b* values days 2 and 5 were limited and variable. While fucoxanthin showed antimicrobial effect against Staphylococcus spp. in the breast meat on days 5 and 6 of storage (p&lt;0.05), its effects at different time periods and against other microorganisms varied. In conclusion, fucoxanthin did not affect performance parameters, but had a significant impact on antioxidant metabolism, and showed a limited effect on the microbial quality of meat. <![CDATA[Different Selection Strategies for the Improvement of the Growth Performance and Carcass Traits of Japanese Quails]]> ABSTRACT The present study evaluated different selection strategies to improve the growth performance and carcass traits of Japanese quails. To this end, 540 Japanese quails previously selected for high body weight at three ages (10, 12 and 14 weeks) from four close-bred flocks (Major, Kaleem, Saadat and Zahid) were subjected to three selection strategies: pedigree-based, mass selection or random-bred (controls). For pedigree-based selection, 108 birds (4 close-bred flocks × 3 age groups × 9 replicates × 1 bird each) with full pedigree and selected for high body weight were used, whereas in mass selection 324 birds (4 close-bred flocks × 3 age groups × 9 replicates × 3 birds each) with high body weight were selected to be the parents of next generation. Random-bred controls included 108 birds (4 close-bred flocks × 3 age groups × 9 replicates × 1bird each) which were not previously submitted to selection. The effects of selection strategies of Japanese quail parents from four close-bred flocks (CBF) at three ages on the performance growth and carcass traits of their progenies were measured. The parent flocks were selected at three ages (10, 12 and 14 weeks) and reared for 20 weeks, and their progenies were reared for four weeks. The progeny of pedigree-based selected parents presented better feed intake (g), body weight gain (g), feed conversion ratio, live and carcass weights (g), and carcass yield. The progeny of 10- and 14-week-old parents showed better growth performance and carcass traits, respectively. Moreover, there was no influence of CBF on growth and carcass traits. It was concluded that pedigree-based selection had pronounced effect on the growth performance and carcass traits of the progeny compared with mass selection and random breeding. It is suggested that parental ages of 10 and 14 weeks of age promote better progeny growth performance and carcass traits. <![CDATA[Effect of Botanical Extracts on Amino Acid and Fatty Acid Profile of Broiler Meat]]> ABSTRACT The objectives of current study were to evaluate the effect of botanical extracts as antioxidants on amino - and fatty acids profile of broiler meat. In total, 200 one-day-old broiler chicks were divided according to a completely randomized design into eight dietary treatments with five replicates of five chicks each. Dietary treatments were: A - positive control (PC) with antibiotics and synthetic antioxidants, B - negative control (NC), C - NC+Trigonellafoenum-graecum, D -NC+Nigella sativa seed, E -NC+Violaodorata, F -NC+Trachyspermumammi, G -PC+Trachyspermumammi+Trigonellafoenum-graecum+Violaodorata, and H -NC+ Trachyspermumammi, Trigonellafoenum-graecum and Viola odorata. Meat amino - and fatty acid contents were analyzed after slaughter at 35 days of age. Data were submitted to one-way analysis of variance and means were compared by Duncan’s Multiple Range test. The levels of histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine and threonine were significantly higher (p≤0.05) in the H, F, E, H and F groups respectively. Arginine, tryptophan, valine, methionine, and phenylalanine were significantly higher (p≤0.05) in the C, F, E, G and H groups. Total essential amino acid levels were highest (40.36%) in C group (p≤0.05). The meat of H broilers presented significantly higher (p≤0.05) unsaturated fatty acids (54.8%) and omega-3 contents (2.77%) and the lowest saturated fatty acid content (44.8%). Group F present the highest linoleic acid and omega-6 levels and group H the highest (p≤0.05) arachidonic and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) contents. It was concluded that botanical extracts aid health-beneficial meat production and the simultaneous inclusion of Trachyspermumammi, Trigonellafoenum-graecum, and Viola odorata in broiler diets is a more suitable option than the other dietary regimes. <![CDATA[Structural Attributes Dynamics of the Brazilian Broiler Production Chain]]> ABSTRACT Brazil is one of the world’s largest broiler meat exporters. Broiler meat is one of the most consumed meats worldwide. The most significant challenge for strategic business management when optimizing the financial returnis knowing exactly where to invest. The same happens in the broiler production chain. The present research aimed to investigate which were the most central actors in the broiler supply chain and the dynamics of the chain. The current study was done based on the poultry chain business relations, from 2000 to 2015, of the leading actors of the Brazilian broiler production chain. The centrality indicator was established through social network analysis (SNA) approach, to determine their positions in the chain as a whole. The most used indicators within network analysis are those designed to identify the extent to which one actor occupies a more central position than another. The Gephi® software was applied to calculate the structural attributes and indicators of the network. Results were estimated using the RapidMiner® software. A model was presented that shows one infrastructure indicator as an explanatory variable. The findings indicate that the centrality indicator was weakly influenced when compared to the other variables, such as market demand, wide variations on the scenario, and mergers or acquisitions. <![CDATA[Detection by Rt-Pcr and Molecular Characterization of Tremovirus A Obtained from Clinical Cases of Avian Encephalomyelitis (AE) Outbreaks in Brazil]]> ABSTRACT This study determined the presence of Tremovirus A as the possible agent related to Avian Encephalomyelitis in broiler chicks from the states of São Paulo (SP) Paraná (PR), Goiás (GO), Santa Catarina (SC) and Rio Grande do Sul (RS), between the years 2006 and 2015. Samples of the nervous, digestive, respiratory, immune, and renal systems, plus muscular organs from broiler chicks with neurological problems such as ataxia and muscle tremors, and four (4) commercial vaccines as positive control, were tested by reverse-transcriptase (RT-PCR) amplification and DNA sequencing. A highly conserved region (P1) of the viral genome, was used to amplify a segment which encodes a structural protein VP4. Out of 112 samples, 46 were positive (42%) for Tremovirus A, that was identified in the nervous, digestive, respiratory, renal and immune systems. The phylogenetic analysis clustered together the nucleotide sequences of the 46 samples, the four commercial vaccine strains and the reference sequence of Calnek strain obtained from the GenBank. According to these results, we conclude that the presence of Tremovirus A in these Brazilian chicken flocks distributed in all states was due to flaws in the biosecurity measurements. <![CDATA[Evaluation of the Viral Interference between Lentogenic Newcastle Disease Virus (Lasota) and Avian Influenza Virus (H9N2) using Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction in SPF Chicken]]> ABSTRACT Lentogenic Newcastle disease virus (lNDV) such as Lasota strain and low pathogenicity avian influenza such as H9N2 virus are two of the most economically important viruses affecting poultry worldwide, and little attention in recent years has been paid to simultaneous infections in chickens with these two viruses for the reason that co-infection do occur but are not easily detected. In the present study, chickens were inoculated with lNDV (Lasota) and LPAIV (A/chicken/Tehran/ZMT-173/99(H9N2)) simultaneously or sequentially three days apart. Oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs were collected from chickens from 1 to 14 days after inoculation. RRT-PCR for AIV and NDV detection was performed. The rate of viral shedding was measured within 14 days. No clinical symptoms were observed during the experiment however the pattern of virus shed was different with co-infection, thus comparing the results obtained from viral shedding showed that AIV is a much stronger agent than NDV in the occurrence of viral interference. This is due to the fact that in simultaneous inoculation, AIV replication delayed and reduced NDV replication, while replication of Lasota in simultaneous or pre-inoculated inoculation could not significantly disrupt H9N2 virus replication. These findings indicate that the infection with one virus can interfere with the replication of another, modifying the pathogenesis of the viruses. So, infection of the host with both viral agents simultaneously causes higher shedding of LPAIV than lNDV in OP and CL areas. In conclusion, co-infection with LPAVI in chickens did not impact clinical signs but affected the replication dynamics of these viruses. <![CDATA[Broiler Chicken Meat Inspection Data in Brazil: A First Glimpse into an Animal Welfare Approach]]> ABSTRACT We aimed to study the potential use of carcass condemnation data of broiler chicken slaughterhouses in Brazil as indicators in an animal welfare monitoring program, and to identify points to be addressed to increase data reliability. Data from 2010 to 2015 in the states of Paraná (PR), Santa Catarina (SC) and Rio Grande do Sul (RS) were used. Fractures and bruising were recorded together, representing the most prevalent welfare problem, followed by skin lesion or inflammation. In PR, progressive increases on injury, arthritis, ineffective bleeding, and air sacculitis condemnation may reveal important welfare aspects. High correlation between AWI within PR was more commonly observed than in RS and SC, perhaps as a result of earlier implementation of local meat inspection standardization. Principal component analysis showed changes on condemnation data pattern in PR after standardization, pointing injury and Escherichia coli problems as the main causes for condemnation related to animal welfare. There is considerable potential to improve animal health and welfare surveillance using meat inspection structure that is already in place for food safety purposes, provided that the competent authority harmonizes the procedure of meat inspection among the States, sets specific animal welfare outcomes to be monitored, and integrates condemnation, transport and flock data. It seems crucial to update data collection to establish a routine that allows risk analysis regarding both food safety and animal welfare. In this regard, cooperative work between Federal Inspection and companies seems an interesting approach to promote transparency of the production processes, which would benefit society and animals. <![CDATA[Digestible Lysine Requirements the Performance, Carcass Traits and Breast Meat Quality of Slow-Growing Broilers]]> ABSTRACT Three experiments were conducted to estimate the digestible lysine requirements of slow-growing broilers on their performance, carcass traits, and breast meat quality. Different broilers were evaluated in each experiment. In Experiment 1, broilers were evaluated from 29-49 days of age (grower phase I), in Experiment 2, from 50 to 69 days old (grower phase II), and in Experiment 3, from 70-84 days old (finisher phase). A completely randomized design with five treatments of four replicates each was applied in all experiments. The following dietary digestible lysine values were investigated: 0.871, 1.011, 1.151, 1.291 and 1.431% in Experiment 1; 0.803, 0.943, 1.083, 1.223 and 1.363% in Experiment 2; and 0.766, 0.906, 1.046, 1.186 and 1.326% in Experiment 3. In all three experiments, digestible lysine values quadratically affected feed intake, weight gain, and feed conversion ratio. Lysine intake linearly increased with increasing digestive lysine values, whereas lysine utilization efficiency linearly decreased. Lysine requirements for maximum feed intake (1.298, 1.109, 1.150%), weight gain (1.183, 1.199, 1.162%), and feed conversion ratio (1.203, 1.162, 1.126%) were estimated in Experiments 1, 2 and 3. Digestible lysine requirement for carcass yield were estimated as 1.162, 1.068 and 1.107% in experiments 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Lysine influenced the physical-chemical parameters broiler breast meat. Digestible lysine levels of 1.203, 1.162 and 1.126% are recommended in the diets of Redbro Plume broilers during the phases 29-49, 50-69 and 70-84 days of age to optimize feed conversion ratio. <![CDATA[Genetic Diversity of Mitochondrial DNA of Chinese Black-bone Chicken]]> ABSTRACT The black-bone chicken has special economic value in Chinese poultry breeds, which also are valued for the medicinal properties of their meat in traditional Chinese medicine. In order to protect the genetic resources of native black-bone chicken breeds, we analyzed the genetic diversity and matrilineal components of 64 mtDNA D-loop partial sequences from three native black-bone chicken breeds, together with reported 596 black-bone chicken mtDNA sequences from China, Japan, and Korea. A total of 108 haplotypes were observed from 73 variable sites. These domestic chicken mtDNA sequences could be assigned into seven clades (A-G). The results indicated that 71.97% of the black-bone haplotypes were related to the reference sequence that may originate from Eurasia, while the minor part of mtDNA sequences presumably derive from Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. Three clades were shared by Korean, Japanese, and Chinese black-bone chickens. These results provide basic data useful for making new breeding and conservation strategies for the black-bone chicken in China. <![CDATA[Duckweed in Irrigation Water as a Replacement of Soybean Meal in the Laying Hens’ Diet]]> ABSTRACT Water lentils (Duckweed [DW])(Lemna gibba), in irrigation ponds, was evaluated by replacing two levels of soybean meal (SBM) on performance and egg quality of laying hens of 54 weeks of age. A total of 72 white Lohmann laying hens were randomly allocated into 3 treatments with 6 replicates/treatment, 4 hens/replicate in a randomized complete block design. Treatments were: control group (DW0%) with (SBM) as the main source of protein, T1 (DW10%) and T2 (DW20%), where duckweed replaced 10% and 20% of SBM for 9 weeks. No significant differences were observed among the dietary treatments in body weight change, feed conversion ratio, egg weight and mortality rate. Replacement with (DW20%) decreased (p&lt;0.05) feed intake, egg laying rate and egg mass. The dry albuminin (DW10%) decreased (p&lt;0.05) from 7 to 9 weeks and in the total period. Yolk pigmentation was highly (p&lt;0.001) improved by the replacement. Blood spots were increased (p&lt;0.05) with (DW20%). Duckweed grown in good quality irrigation water can replace up to 10% of the SBM as a source of protein without adverse effects on hen performance and egg quality in addition to profitability. <![CDATA[Effect of Breed and Caponisation on the Growth Performance, Carcass Composition, and Fatty Acid Profile in the Muscles of Greenleg Partridge and Polbar Breeds]]> ABSTRACT The aim of the study was to determine the impact of­ caponisation of Polbar (Pb) and Greenleg Partridge (Zk) breeds on the production performance, carcass composition, and the nutrient content and fatty acid profile in the breast and thigh muscles and abdominal fat. From 18 weeks of age to the end of the experiment, the Zk capons were significantly heavier than the cocks. The Zk capons had higher (p≤0.05) weight and share of breast and leg muscles. At 24 weeks of age, we noted an increase in the total content of n-3 PUFA and linolenic acid C18:3 in the breast muscles of the Zk and Pb capons. The content of PUFA and n-3 PUFA in thigh muscles and the n6/n3 ratio were reduced in the Pb capons at 24 weeks of age, compared with the Zk cocks. Caponisation of the Pb cocks had a beneficial effect on the final body weight, feed intake, and slaughter characteristics, in comparison with the non-caponised birds of this breed. A tendency towards an increased total share of PUFA and MUFA, a significantly higher content of n-3 PUFA, and a lower (p≤0.05) n-6/n-3 ratio were found for the breast muscles of the Pb capons. Both breeds are a good material for production of capons. The meat of the capons of both breeds exhibited a beneficial, higher PUFA/SFA ratio, higher n-3 PUFA and MUFA content, and a more favourable n-6/n-3 ratio. <![CDATA[Central Opioidergic System Interplay with Histamine on Food Intake in Neonatal Chicks: Role of µ-Opioid and H1/H3 Receptors]]> ABSTRACT The present study was designed to examine the role of Opioidergic and Histaminergic systems on feeding behavior in 3-hour food deprived neonatal meat- type chicks. In experiment 1, chicks received intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of (A) control solution, (B) α-FMH (alpha fluoromethyl histidine; 250 nmol), (C) DAMGO (µ-opioid receptor agonist, 125 pmol) and (D) α-FMH + DAMGO. Experiments 2-4 were similar to experiment 1, except chicken ICV injected with Chlorpheniramine (histamine H1 receptors antagonist; 300 nmol), famotidine (histamine H2 receptors antagonist; 82 nmol) and Thioperamide (histamine H3 receptors antagonist; 300 nmol) instead of the α-FMH. In experiments 5-8, birds ICV injected with the same procedure as experiments 1-4, except they were injected with DPDPE (δ-opioid receptor agonist, 40 nmol) instead of DAMGO. Experiments 9-12 were similar to the experiments 1-4, except neonatal broilers ICV were injected with U-50488H (κ-opioid receptor agonist, 30 nmol) instead of DAMGO. Then the cumulative food intake was measured until 120 min post injection. According to the results, ICV injection of DAMGO, significantly decreased food intake (p&lt;0.05) while DPDPE and U-50488H increased feeding behavior compared to the control group (p&lt;0.05). Co-administration of the α-FMH and DAMGO significantly inhibited hypophagic effect of the DAMGO in neonatal broilers (p&lt;0.05). Also, Chlorpheniramine significantly inhibited DAMGO- induced feeding behavior in neonatal chicks (p&lt;0.05). In addition, co-administration of the Thioperamide + DAMGO significantly amplified the hypophagic effect of the DAMGO in neonatal chicks (p&lt;0.05). However, famotidine had no effect on food intake induced by DAMGO (p&gt;0.05). Also, the hyperphagic effect of DPDPE and U-50488 had no affect by α-FMH, Chlorpheniramine, famotidine and Thioperamide (p&gt;0.05). These results suggested that an interconnection between central opioidergic and histaminergic systems on feeding behavior is mediated via µ-opioid and H1/H3 receptors in neonatal broilers. <![CDATA[Vertebral Osteomyelitis in Broilers: A Review]]> ABSTRACT Locomotor diseases are still a challenge in modern poultry. Vertebral osteomyelitis (VO) is an emerging disease in broilers worldwide. The inflammatory process in the affected thoracic vertebra (T4) and subsequent spinal cord compression leads to clinical signs related to locomotor impairment, inadequate feeding and drinking, and increased mortality in the affected flocks. The pathogenesis of the disease is poorly understood and Enterococcus cecorum is the bacterium most frequently associated with the disease. However, other bacteria such as E. faecalis, E. durans, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus have been recently detected in cases of the disease, raising questions regarding its etiopathogenesis. As many questions about VO in broilers remain unanswered, knowledge on its prevention, control and treatment is limited. In this review, we compile and discuss the currently available information concerning VO in broilers and highlight important aspects of the disease. <![CDATA[Factors that Influence the Production, Environment, and Welfare of Broiler Chicken: A Systematic Review]]> ABSTRACT The objective of the present study was to characterize the scientific production regarding the factors that influence broiler chicken production, and that were published from 2000 to 2015 in journals indexed in the database of Google Scholar, Scielo, and ScienceDirect. The research was done in the Thermal Comfort Laboratory at FEAGRI- UNICAMP, and the concept of the systematic review was applied. The research criterion was initially defined (the keywords) aiming to identify and evaluate the variables that describe the experimental characteristics and the animals. The primary keywords identified were: broiler chicken from commercial strains, broiler production, rearing conditions, thermal environment, air quality, acoustic environment, light intensity, management, and heat stress. Those were the key words searched in the database of the online libraries. The selected articles were registered into an electronic spreadsheet with the title, the name of the authors, year of publication, language, the journal where it was published, the keyword, the period when the research was done, source/ database, and the abstract. A total of 167 articles were selected, and only 34 were added to the review. The use of the systematic review of the literature allowed identifying the main variables that positively influence the broiler performance, such as the temperature near the thermal comfort, the use of roof lining, besides the use of adiabatic cooling and cast bricks in the laterals. The presence of positive ventilation, as well as the use of yellow curtains and constant lighting, has also influenced a better performance to broilers.