Environmental temperature and stocking density effects on acute phase proteins, heat shock protein 70, circulating corticosterone and performance in broiler chickens

Najafi, P., Zulkifli, I., Amat Jajuli, N., Farjam, A. S., Ramiah, S. K., Amir, A. A., O'Reilly, E. and Eckersall, D. (2015) Environmental temperature and stocking density effects on acute phase proteins, heat shock protein 70, circulating corticosterone and performance in broiler chickens. International Journal of Biometeorology, 59(11), pp. 1577-1583. (doi:10.1007/s00484-015-0964-3) (PMID:25649005)

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Abstract

An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of different stocking densities on serum corticosterone (CORT), ovotransferrin (OVT), α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) and ceruloplasmin (CP) concentrations, brain heat shock protein (HSP) 70 expression and performance in broiler chickens exposed to unheated and heated conditions. Day-old chicks were stocked at 0.100 m2/bird (low density (LD)) or 0.063 m2/bird (high density (HD)), in battery cages and housed in environmentally controlled rooms. From 21 to 35 days of age, birds from each stocking density group were exposed to either 24 or 32 °C. Growth performance was recorded during the heat treatment period, and blood and brain samples were collected to determine CORT, OVT, AGP, CP and HSP 70 levels on day 35. Heat treatment but not stocking density was detrimental to growth performance. There were significant temperature × density interactions for CORT, CP and OVT on day 35. Although HD elevated CORT, CP and OVT when compared to LD, the effects of the former were more obvious under heated condition. Both temperature and density had significant effect on AGP and HSP 70. In conclusion, irrespective of temperature, high stocking density was physiologically stressful to broiler chickens, as indicated by CORT, AGP, CP, OVT and HSP 70, but not detrimental to growth performance and survivability. As it was shown in the present study, AGP, CP and OVT could be useful biomarkers to determine the effect of overcrowding and high temperature on the welfare of broiler chickens.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Eckersall, Professor Peter and O'Reilly, Dr Emily
Authors: Najafi, P., Zulkifli, I., Amat Jajuli, N., Farjam, A. S., Ramiah, S. K., Amir, A. A., O'Reilly, E., and Eckersall, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:International Journal of Biometeorology
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0020-7128
ISSN (Online):1432-1254

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