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Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science

Print version ISSN 1516-635X


ALMEIDA, VR et al. Crude protein and metabolizable energy levels for layers reared in hot climates. Rev. Bras. Cienc. Avic. [online]. 2012, vol.14, n.3, pp.203-208. ISSN 1516-635X.

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.

Keywords : Thermal homeostasis; nutrition; environmental temperature; cloacal temperature.

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