Abstract in English:Ascites is a complex problem caused by many interacting factors such as genetics, environment and management. Many nutritional, medicinal and management strategies have been proposed to alleviate the problem. Higher levels of dietary vitamin C and E along with selenium yeast might be beneficial, presumably because of their role in improving cellular integrity. Oils rich in n-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce pulmonary hypertension and, consequently, ascites incidence. The potential use of flax oil has already been demonstrated, whereas the effects of other oils rich in n-3 fatty acids (fish, linseed and canola oils) remain to be investigated. The assessment of the effects of dietary electrolyte balance on ascites incidence seems to be a promising field of research in broiler nutrition. In general, reducing the dietary level of salt (NaCl) and adding bicarbonates to the diet and drinking water have been proposed as potential "cost-effective" methods to reduce ascites incidence. The use of nutrients/drug agents that increase the vascular capacity of the lungs or decrease the pulmonary vascular resistance may help to alleviate the problem, but economic and local feed regulations might restrict such use. Diuretics have also shown positive effects, presumably because there is a reduction of sodium and fluid retention in the body; litter humidity however must be closely monitored if diuretics are continuously administered. As the high metabolic rate (fast growth) is a major factor contributing to the susceptibility of broilers to ascites, early-age feed or nutrient restriction (qualitative or quantitative) or light restriction in order to slow down the growth rate seem practically viable methods, since final body weight is not compromised. Optimization of the house temperature and ventilation in cold weather seem helpful practices to decrease ascites incidence. Under practical conditions, it might be interesting to test the additive effects of different approaches when used in combination.
Abstract in English:Intensive broiler production in tropical climates requires adequate air circulation to control heat stress. Excess of air speed may lead to dust production and reduction of air quality and, consequently, production parameters. Brazilian regulations prohibit the presence of pathogens that may deteriorate air quality, and the presence of fungi in the air inside the poultry houses is limited to 750CFU/m³. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of fungi in two distinct types of broiler houses. The research compared two types of air ventilation: conventional (G1) and positive tunnel ventilation (G2). The fungi were collected using a dust sampling pump, with the air flow calibrated to 1.5 L/min. The filter impregnated with dust was submitted to growth for two days using five Petri dishes. Microbiology analysis showed that there were 1,239 CFU and 2,011 CFU in G1 and G2, respectively. The different genera of fungi found and their percentages were: Penicillium 29.16%, Aspergillus 37.5% and Fusarium 29.16% in G1 and Penicillium 33.34%, Aspergillus 26.64%, Fusarium 23.34% and Neurospora 3.34% in G2.
Abstract in English:The matter of animal welfare has led to studies in order to evaluate alternative rearing systems for livestock in order to improve well-being. The semi-intensive system is an alternative method of rearing broilers in which the birds are kept in a poultry house and have free access to a pasture area during the day. It is known that ambient conditions may directly affect the behavior of birds reared in the semi-intensive system. Therefore, this research evaluated the behavior of four broiler strains reared under a semi-intensive system with a shaded area (provided by a black plastic screen - 50%) and the bioclimatic characteristics of this environment when compared with the non-shaded pasture. Thirty-five birds were reared in pens with 4.5 m² and 35 m² of pasture. Ambient variables were measured throughout the day to calculate the indexes of thermal comfort (BGHI and enthalpy). Data was analyzed in a 4 x 2 factorial (4 strains and 2 rearing environments) with 2 repetitions, in order to establish the rate of bird permanence in the pasture. There was an improvement in the ambient conditions of the shaded pasture in the hottest hours of the day (from 10:00 to 14:00 h), i.e., there was a reduction in the mean values of BGHI (approximately 26%) and enthalpy (36%). As a consequence, there was an increase in the rate of permanence in this environment if compared with the non-shaded pasture. Three out of four evaluated strains showed better adaptability to the semi-intensive rearing system.
Abstract in English:The improvement in production technology was the major factor that lead Brazil to become the third largest poultry producer. The improvement was world´s based on the careful control of several aspects, including which nutrition and management (environment, health and rearing systems). Nowadays, the search for good welfare conditions is a global tendency in animal production. Concomitantly, an extensive production system of free-range broilers has been increasing in Brazil. This study evaluated in situ production indexes of two different commercial broiler productions, an intensive and conventional (farm A) and a semi-extensive free-range production (farm B), in order to assess the relationship between productivity and management. It was observed that the physical environment in farm A presented higher temperatures and relative humidity. Based on the results, the production index was better in farm A than in farm B. It was not clear that the production index was related to inadequate welfare of broilers under the conventional rearing system.
Abstract in English:This study evaluated the use of probiotics and prebiotics on the histological and morphological indexes of the intestinal mucosa of broilers at 21 days of age. Thirty-six birds were randomly distributed in a 3 x 3 factorial arrangement, considering 3 probiotics and prebiotics sources in the diet. There were 9 treatments with 4 repetitions. Diet treatments were: 1 - Control (without growth promoters); 2 - Bacillus subtilis-based probiotic (Pro 1); 3 - Probiotic (Pool) based on Lactobacillus acidophilus and casei, Streptococcus lactis and faecium, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Aspergillus oryzae (Pro 2); 4 - Prebiotic based on Phosphorylated Mannanoligosaccharide (MOS) and Organic Acidifier (OA) (Pre 1); 5 - MOS-based prebiotic (Pre 2); 6 - Pro 1 + Pre 1; 7 - Pro 1 + Pre 2; 8 - Pro 2 + Pre 1; 9 - Pro 2 + Pre 2. Higher villus height (VH) (p<0.01) were seen in the duodenum of birds fed diets without prebiotics, whereas birds fed Bacillus subtilis-based probiotic and birds fed prebiotic based on MOS and OA showed higher VH (p<0.01) in jejunum and ileum. Greater crypt depths (CD) (p<0.01) were observed in the duodenum, jejunum and ileum of birds receiving B. subtilis, and in the duodenum and jejunum of birds fed diets without prebiotics. Significant interaction (p<0.01) between the evaluated factors was seen for both, VH and CD, in the three intestinal portions. Greater VH was obtained in duodenum, jejunum and ileum with the use of probiotics and prebiotics and greater CD with the use of probiotics, in relation to the control group. There was no difference in villus density (VD) between birds fed diets without additives or diets containing probiotics and prebiotics. Nevertheless, there was a significant interaction (p<0.05) between the evaluated factors for VD in the duodenum. Concluding, beneficial effects were seen in histological indexes of the intestinal mucosa with the use of probiotics and prebiotics at 21 days of age.
Abstract in English:The objective of this study was to report the response to selection for fertility and hatchability in white egg layers strains, based on sire and dam performance, and the effects of inbreeding on these traits. Two selected white egg strains (CC and DD) from Embrapa´s poultry program under multiple trait selection were compared to a control strain (CCc). The control strain was established by randomly mating one male from each sire family to a non-related female from each dam family and was used to monitor genetic change in the selected lines. CC and DD were selected using family and individual information on hen-day egg production up to 40 weeks of age, egg weight, sexual maturity and 16-week-old body weight over five generations. Independent culling levels (ICL) were also used during population expansion to eliminate sires and dams with low fertility (FERT) and hatchability (HATC). Initially, FERT and HATC were over 90.0% in both selected and control strains. FERT and HATC of the selected and the control strains were compared during the last generation. FERT averages were 93.8, 93.8 and 94.4%, and HATCH averages were 93.2, 91.6 and 93.1% for CC, DD and CCc respectively. FERT and HATCH means were not different among strains. Estimated inbreeding increased at a rate of 0.4% per generation in all strains. Selection using ICL was able to effectively maintain the high initial FERT and HATC levels, and provide potential for high selection intensity in other traits. Inbreeding depression was not observed for any trait, indicating that selection compensated for any negative effects of inbreeding.
Abstract in English:An experiment was conducted to evaluate the performance and carcass yield of broilers at 55 days of age fed diets with different levels of metabolizable energy and lysine. Evaluated data of performance were weight gain, feed intake, energy intake, lysine intake, caloric conversion and feed conversion. Carcass assessment was performed based on data from carcass yield, breast weight, whole wings, whole legs, back, head + neck, feet and abdominal fat. A 3 x 3 factorial arrangement was used, with 3 levels of metabolizable energy (3,200; 3,400 and 3,600 kcal ME/kg) and 3 lysine levels (0.95%; 1.05% and 1.15%). There was no interaction between the two factors. Nevertheless, increasing levels of metabolizable energy improved weight gain (745 g; 841 g and 910 g, respectively) and feed intake was higher in broilers receiving the diets with 3,200 and 3,600 kcal ME/kg. Overall performance was not affected by lysine levels. Feed conversion values were 2.69, 2.42 and 2.14 for birds fed diets with 3,200; 3,400 and 3,600 kcal ME/kg, respectively. Carcass yield and breast weight increased with higher levels of energy and lysine in the diets.
Abstract in English:A hundred and fifty male Ross 308 broilers were submitted to water restriction (WR) in different levels (0 to 40%) until 21 days of age. The birds received water ad libitum from 22 to 28 days of age and the compensatory consumption of water (CConW) was calculated as the difference in water intake between birds submitted and not submitted to WR. All WR groups showed a compensatory consumption of water, mainly during the first days of the ad libitum period. The water intake in such groups decreased as the birds adapted to the new condition. Higher water intake was observed in birds with 30 and 40% WR than in birds with 10% WR. Furthermore, chickens showed an unusual drinking and feeding behavior during the restriction period.
Abstract in English:This trial was conducted to evaluate the utilization of low-protein diets formulated based on the ideal protein concept for broiler chickens from 7 to 21 days of age reared at different environmental temperatures. Nine hundred male Cobb-500® chickens were used. At day seven chicks were distributed according to a completely randomized design in a 3 x 3 factorial with four replications of 25 birds each. It was used three crude protein levels in the diet (21.5; 20.0 and 18.5%) and three environmental temperatures (low, thermoneutral and high). The performance, carcass characteristics (yield and chemical composition), and nitrogen ingestion and excretion were assessed. There was no significant interaction among the factors for the evaluated variables. Environmental temperatures affected differently chicken performance. High environmental temperature resulted in lower weight gain and higher wing fat percentage, whereas cold temperature resulted in higher feed conversion. On the other hand, low-protein diets decreased weight gain, breast yield, nitrogen excretion and influenced breast and wings chemical composition. Birds reared at high environmental temperature showed lower nitrogen intake and excretion. The results showed that the decrease in protein levels from 7 to 21 days of age contributed to lower nitrogen excretion in broiler chickens, but impaired performance and carcass characteristics independent of rearing temperature.
Abstract in English:Reducing Salmonella contamination in poultry is of major importance to prevent the introduction of this microorganism into the food chain. Salmonellae may spread during storage time (shelf life) whenever pre-harvest control fails or post-harvest contamination occurs. Therefore, preventive measures should also be used in the post-harvest level of poultry production in order to control salmonellae. Chicken skin samples were experimentally contaminated by immersing whole legs (thighs and drumsticks) in a suspension containing 10(6) colony forming units per milliliter (CFU/mL) of Salmonella Enteritidis phage type 4 (SE PT4) at the slaughter day. One day later, samples from one group were immersed in a suspension pool containing 10(9) CFU/mL of each of three wild salmonella-lytic bacteriophages previously isolated from feces of free-range chickens. Salmonella counting was performed at three-day intervals in the chicken legs stored at 5°C and showed a significant reduction (P<0.05) of SE PT4 in bacteriophage-treated cuts on days 3, 6 and 9 post-treatment. These findings suggest that the use of bacteriophages may reduce SE PT4 in chicken skin. Further studies are encouraged and might demonstrate the potential of this approach as an efficient and safe technique to be routinelly used for Salmonella control in chicken products.