The research was carried out with the objective of evaluating different levels of metabolisable energy (3050, 3100, 3150, 3200 and 3250 kcal.kg-1) in the diet of 22-to-42-day-old broilers kept in an environment of thermal stress. Three hundred male chicks weighing 814.7 g initial average weight were distributed in a completely randomised design with five treatments, six replications and ten birds per experimental unit. Feed metabolisable energy levels did not influence (P > 0.05) the performance variables of feed conversion, daily weight gain and daily feed intake in the two phases studied. There were no statistical differences in carcass yields: carcass, chest, thigh, drumstick, heart, wing and back. Differences were observed for the two variables gizzard yield and abdominal fat. A linear increase in the percentage of abdominal fat with an increase in energy levels in the diet was observed. The 3100 kcal.kg-1 level of metabolisable energy is the level indicated by this research because it results in lower abdominal fat content and lower cost per kilo of feed.
elevated temperatures; energy feeds; poultry