Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science, Volume: 14, Issue: 3, Published: 2012
  • Some aspects of chicken behavior and welfare

    Costa, LS; Pereira, DF; Bueno, LGF; Pandorfi, H

    Abstract in English:

    Brazil is the world leader in broiler production and export. It achieved this position mainly to its excellent supply chain structure and climate, which favor poultry and grain production throughout its territory. Although Brazilian egg production is not as important as broiler production, this segment presents great potential of increasing its share in the global market. However, as elsewhere in the world, Brazilian poultry production faces the challenge to balance two elements within its supply chain: cruelty and productivity. The consumers of the European Union (EU) are very concerned with animal welfare issues. In order to increase its share in the European market, and eventually in the world market, Brazilian poultry producers must understand the effects of production systems on poultry welfare, and try to develop systems that are suited for its climate and other production conditions. There is a consensus that the natural behaviors performed by poultry in intensive production systems allow better welfare. This objective of this review is to present scientific research studies that relate different behaviors to chicken welfare. Poultry behavior is a reflex of their welfare status at a particular moment, and it is related to internal (physiological) and external (environmental) factors. Several natural behaviors that favor welfare, as well as undesirable behaviors, may be stimulated by environmental enrichment. The correct interpretation of the behaviors expressed by poultry, including their frequency, duration, and sequence, may be used to estimate their welfare. Animal production is an import sector of Brazilian economy. It significantly contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in terms of products destined both to domestic consumption and exports. New technologies applied to products and management practices have been developed for field application, aiming at improving producers' productivity and profitability. In order to comply with the European Union's (EU) guidelines for animal protein production, Brazilian poultry production needs to undergo a process of adaptation. In May, 2007, the EU Commission established its new guidelines for animal welfare in poultry production, pressured by consumer demand. In the EU, there is a growing concern among consumers as to how poultry are reared and slaughtered. European consumers are in the fore front of the demand of high quality products produced with under better welfare conditions, and have spread this concern throughout the world. Beaumont et al. (2010) mentioned that European consumers frequently perceive that standard commercial poultry production has poor animal welfare practices. According to Nääs et al. (2008), Brazilian poultry production today needs to find a balance between cruelty and productivity. In fact, ensuring animal welfare may provide better financial results, as it increases the producer's profit margins and allows maintaining Brazilian chicken export quotas to the EU. França (2008) noted that biological studies that define ethical limits and guidelines for poultry production foster the development of new production practices that may ensure good product quality and productivity without putting bird welfare at risk. Gonyou (1994) states that, when animal welfare started to be studied, the only behavioral factors considered were those related to feeding and reproduction. These first studies used as indicators of animal welfare reduced life expectancy, impaired growth, impaired reproduction, body damage, disease, immunosuppression, adrenal activity, behavior anomalies, and self-narcotization (Broom, 1991). However, current studies evaluate additional indicators, such as natural behaviors, behavioral needs, preferences, behavioral problems, emotional state, cognitive abilities, etc. In the field of ethology, the expression of natural behavior is a frequently used tool used to estimate the welfare of poultry destined to human consumption. According to Bracke & Hopster (2006), natural behavior can be defined as the behavior the animal normally presents when exposed to conditions similar to its natural habitat. Natural behaviors are pleasurable and promote biological functions that are meaningful to the animal's welfare. The definition of natural behavior, though, does not include the bird's behavior when sick, in flight or during aggression, since these are not considered pleasurable situations. Considering layer behavioral needs in the design of housing facilities optimize their welfare. Mishra et al. (2005) verified that ISA Brown layers spent, during 24 hours, around 97% of the time in the nest, feeding, walking, resting, or dust bathing, and that 57% of these behaviors did not depend on environmental enrichment. It was also observed that hens had preferred behavioral sequences, which included foraging and comfort behaviors, such as wing-stretching and preening. The present review aims at discussing, albeit not exhaustively, scientific research studies on the behavior of Gallusgallus domesticus and its relationship to welfare. The following behaviors are reviewed: feather pecking, scratching, dust bathing, nesting, locomotion activities, and aggressive behaviors. These behaviors are the most frequently observed in commercial broiler, broiler breeder, and layer farming, and therefore, monitoring their incidence may contribute to measure poultry welfare.
  • Use of vitamin D to reduce lameness in broilers reared in harsh environments

    Nääs, I de A; Baracho, M dos S; Bueno, LGF; Moura, DJ de; Vercelino, R do A; Salgado, DD

    Abstract in English:

    In tropical poultry-producing countries, poultry houses usually have little environmental control. This study investigated the effect of dietary vitamin D on the incidence of leg abnormalities of a fast-growing broiler strain reared under harsh conditions. In this study, 300 one-day-old male broilers were distributed in two treatments with three replicates of 50 birds each. One group was fed a placebo and the other group was fed 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25-OH-D3) in a soluble form. The environmental variables were weekly recorded during until birds were 49 days old. Birds were weekly gait scored, and their walking speed and vertical force while walking were assessed. Post-mortem examination was performed and skeletal lesions were assessed. Control birds presented more leg problems than those that ingested 25-OH-D3. These results suggest that dietary vitamin D is effective in decreasing the severity of lameness by reducing tibial dyschondroplasia and other leg abnormalities.
  • Potential use of molecular-typing methods for the identification and characterization of salmonella enterica serotypes isolated in the poultry production chain

    Baratto, CM; Gelinski, JMLN; Bernardi, AZ; Marafon, A; Braun, F

    Abstract in English:

    Salmonella is widespread in nature and can be found in all links of the poultry production chain. Due to its high impact on meat processing, techniques for the rapid detection and reproducible characterization of Salmonella serotypes in foods are needed. The present study investigated the potential of molecular profiling to identify and differentiate 15 Salmonella serotypes isolated from the poultry production chain, based on 5 primers by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC-PCR), amplification of rDNA internal spacer analysis (RISA), and amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) of 16S-23S rRNA internal spacer region (ISR) cleaved with Alu I and Hha I restriction enzymes. Three isolates of each serotype were analyzed for the identification of similar and different profiles. Dendrograms were constructed from molecular profiles using the UPGMA method (unweighted pair-group method for the arithmetic averages) and the software program WinBoot. The present study indicates the usefulness of RISA and ARDRA of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region (ISR) for systematic, epidemiological, and diagnostic purposes. Since these techniques can be used for the differentiation of serotypes, they are highly promising for the characterization of Salmonella serotypes and intra-serotypes. Data indicate that these techniques may be used to produce more consistent, reliable, and reproducible results in the identification and epidemiological study (traceability) of Salmonella in the poultry industry.
  • Effect of ph and temperature on the activity of phytase products used in broiler nutrition

    Naves, L de P; Corrêa, AD; Bertechini, AG; Gomide, EM; Santos, CD dos

    Abstract in English:

    The activity of three commercial microbial phytase (Aspergillus oryzae, A. niger, and Saccharomyces cerevisae) products used in broiler nutrition was determined at different pH (2.0 to 9.0) and temperature (20 to 90°C) values. Enzymatic activity was determined according to the reaction of the phytase with its substrate (sodium phytate), in four replicates, and was expressed in units of phytase activity (FTU). A. oryzae phytase exhibited optimal activity at pH 4.0 and 40°C, but its absolute activity was the lowest of the three phytases evaluated. A. niger phytase exhibited maximal activity close to pH 5.0 and 45ºC, whereas S. cerevisae phytase presented its highest activity at pH close to 4.5 and temperatures ranging between 50 and 60°C. It was concluded that A. niger and S. cerevisae phytase products exhibited the highest absolute activities in vitro at pH and temperature values (pH lower than 5.0 and 41ºC) corresponding to the ideal physiological conditions of broilers, which would theoretically allow high hydrolysis rate of the phytate contained in the feed.
  • Lysine and methionine + cystine for laying hens during the post-molting phase

    Domingues, C H de F; Sgavioli, S; Praes, M F F M; Duarte, K F; Castiblanco, D M C; Santos, E T; Alva, J C R; Junqueira, O M

    Abstract in English:

    One experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of using different lysine and methionine + cystine levels on body weight recovery, performance, and egg quality of laying hens during the post-molting period. In this trial, 432 Isa Brown layers, with 72 weeks of age, were distributed in 54 cages according to a completely randomized design with six treatments and nine replicates of eight birds each. During the resting period, six diets with different digestible lysine and methionine + cystine levels were used, as follows: 0.48% digestible lysine and 0.43% methionine + cystine; 0.48% digestible lysine and 0.47% methionine + cystine; 0.48% digestible lysine and 0.52% methionine + cystine; 0.56% digestible lysine and 0.50% methionine + cystine; 0.56% digestible lysine and 0.56% methionine + cystine; 0.56% digestible lysine and 0.62% methionine + cystine. Data were submitted to analysis of variance and means were compared at by Tukey’s test at 5% probability level. The different lysine and methionine + cystine levels in the diets fed during the resting period significantly influenced layer performance. The diet containing 0.56% lysine and 0.56% methionine + cystine promoted higher egg weight eggs during the second production cycle.
  • Glycerine derived from biodiesel production as a feedstuff for broiler diets

    Silva, CLS; Menten, JFM; Traldi, AB; Pereira, R; Zavarize, KC; Santarosa, J

    Abstract in English:

    The performance, carcass traits, and litter humidity of broilers fed increasing levels of glycerine derived from biodiesel production were evaluated. In this experiment, 1,575 broilers were distributed according to a completely randomized experimental design into five treatments with seven replicates of 45 birds each. Treatments consisted of a control diet and four diets containing 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, or 10% glycerine. The experimental diets contained equal nutritional levels and were based on corn, soybean meal and soybean oil. The glycerine included in the diets contained 83.4% glycerol, 1.18% sodium, and 208 ppm methanol, and a calculated energy value of 3,422 kcal AMEn/kg. Performance parameters (weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion ratio, live weight, and livability) were monitored when broilers were 7, 21, and 42 days of age. On day 43, litter humidity was determined in each pen, and 14 birds/treatment were sacrificed for the evaluation of carcass traits. During the period of 1 to 7 days, there was a positive linear effect of the treatments on weight gain, feed intake, and live weight gain. Livability linearly decreased during the period of 1 to 21 days. During the entire experimental period, no significant effects were observed on performance parameters or carcass traits, but there was a linear increase in litter humidity. Therefore, the inclusion of up to 5% glycerine in the diet did not affect broiler performance during the total rearing period.
  • Crude protein and metabolizable energy levels for layers reared in hot climates

    Almeida, VR; Dias, AN; Bueno, CFD; Couto, FAP; Rodrigues, PA; Nogueira, WCL; Faria Filho, DE

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of different dietary crude protein (CP) and metabolizable energy (ME) levels on the performance, internal and external egg quality, and cloacal temperature of commercial layers reared in hot climate. In this trial, 100 commercial Hy-Line W-36 layers between 20 and 32 weeks of age were distributed according to a completely randomized experimental design with a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement, consisting of two CP levels (15 e 18%) and two ME contents (2700 and 3100 kcal/kg) with five replicates per treatment and 10 birds per replicate. Performance (feed intake, egg production, egg mass, and feed conversion ratio), internal (Haugh units and albumen and yolk percentage) and external (eggshell % and thickness) egg quality parameters were evaluated. Cloacal temperature was measured in two birds per replicate at 8:00 h and 13:00 h. The diet containing 2700 kcal ME/kg promoted the best performance, whereas the worse performance observed in birds fed the diet with 3100 ME/kg was partially recovered when the diet contained 18% CP. Haugh units worsened as dietary CP level increased. The other external and internal egg quality parameters were not affected by dietary CP or ME levels. The cloacal temperature of birds fed 15% CP was lower in the morning and higher in the afternoon relative to those fed 18% CP, which temperature did not change during the day. It was concluded that dietary CP and ME levels influenced the performance and the body temperature of commercial layers.
  • Estimates of methionine and sulfur amino acid requirements for laying hens using different models

    Saki, AA; Naseri Harsini, R; Tabatabaei, MM; Zamani, P; Haghight, M

    Abstract in English:

    This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary methionine (Met) content on the performance of white commercial laying hens and to determine Met and total sulfur amino acids requirements (TSAA). These requirements were estimated using three statistical models (broken-line regression, exponential and second order equations) to evaluate their abilit to determine amino acid requirements. A total of 216 laying hens (23 wks of age) was used in a completely randomized design (CRD) with six treatments with four replicates of nine birds each. The basal diet contained 15.25% crude protein, 2830.16 kcal/kg ME and 0.24% Met. Synthetic DL-Met was added to the deficient (basal) diet in 0.05% increments to make the other five experimental diets (0.29, 0.34, 0.39, 0.44 and 0.49% Met). Increasing Met level from 0.24 to 0.34% significantly increased egg production, egg weight, egg mass, egg content, and feed intake and decreased feed conversion ratio (p<0.05). However, further Met increases, from 0.34 to 0.49%, no longer influenced these parameters. Out of the three models, the broken-line regression model presented better estimates of AA requirements. Based on broken-line equations, average Met and TSAA requirements of the laying hens were 0.31 and 0.60% (245.50 and 469.25 mg/hen/day) from 22 to 36 wks of age, respectively.
  • Broiler walking ability and toe asymmetry under harsh rearing conditions

    Baracho, MS; Nääs, IA; Bueno, LGF; Nascimento, GR; Moura, DJ

    Abstract in English:

    Morphological asymmetry has been described as a potential broiler welfare indicator, for interpreting the birds' ability to cope with the challenges that may affect its growth. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of morphological asymmetry data to estimate broiler walking ability and welfare.dBroilers werefed diets supplemented or not with vitamin D. Toes were measured when birds were 42 and 49 days old using digital caliper.the left and right sides of the following four bilateral traits (tarsometatarsus length, outer toe length, mid toe length, and back toe length) were measured twice on intact alive birds by two different researcherh. Data from right and left sides were compared in the two treatments using the Student t-test, and Pearson's correlation was used to analyze the total asymmetry found as a result of the total sum of the differences in the measurements. Asymmetry data were comparedwith the total numberof leg lesions. Mid toe and tarsometatarsus asymmetry resultswere considered as actual fluctuating asymmetry, and presented normal distribution (Test of Kolmogorov-Smirnov, p >0.05). However, back toe and outer toe measurements were not normally distributed, as determined by the test of Kolmogorov-Smirnov (p <0.05), indicating anti-asymmetry; when comparing right with left limb,results were significantly different fron zero (t-Student, p <0.05) indicating directional fluctuating asymmetry.The welfare of broilers withwalking difficulty due to the presence of severe asymmetry in limbs is poor.
  • Impact of exposure to cold on layer production

    Alves, FMS; Felix, GA; Almeida Paz, ICL; Nääs, IA; Souza, GM; Caldara, FR; Garcia, RG

    Abstract in English:

    Infrared thermographic images were used to evaluate the effect of the exposure of layers to cold. In this trial, 540 Isa Brown® layers with an average age of 69 weeks were housed in a conventional layer house typically used in Brazil during a period of cold environmental temperatures. Environmental and heat-transference data were recorded between July 13-16, 2010. It was verified that layers under cold stress conditions lost four times more energy that the recommendations trying to maintain their body temperature. Due to their reduced feed intake capacity, hens are not capable of increasing the availability of the metabolic energy required to maintain their body temperature and egg production, consequently resulting in economic losses.
  • Broiler litter reutilization applying different composting concepts

    Sonoda, LT; Moura, DJ; Bueno, LGF; Cordeiro, DC; Mendes, AS

    Abstract in English:

    Broiler litter reutilization consists in using the same bedding material to cover the house floor for several broiler flocks. This requires the litter to be treated in order to reduce the amount of microorganisms, according to international recommendations. The aim of this study was to evaluate two methods of broiler litter fermentation based on composting concepts and their effect on litter and the air quality during fermentation in small-scale broiler houses. The experiment was carried out in the Environmental Laboratory I of the School of Agricultural Engineering of the State University of Campinas, utilizing six small-scale houses. Litter from the same grow-out (one, two or three) was distributed in two experimental houses, where it was either piled or spread. Before beginning the treatment, six litter samples were collected from each house and analyzed for total nitrogen content, humidity, pH and microbial counts. Litter humidity, gas emission (NH3 and CO2), environmental temperature, air relative humidity, and air velocity were determined during and after composting. Bacterial population, especially of Salmonella sp, was higher when the litter was piled compared with spread litter. However, fungi population showed a different pattern, decreasing after composting. Nevertheless, both treatments were not able to significantly reduce bacterial counts, specifically Salmonella sp, when the population before and after fermentation were compared
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