ABSTRACT The experiment was carried out with the objective of evaluating a methodology to estimate the angulation and equilibrium condition, relating them to gait score and the main diseases of the locomotion system in males and females of commercial broiler strains. A completely randomized experimental design in a factorial arrangement (2x2) was applied, consisting of two sexes and two genetic strains, with five replicates of 53 chickens each. The following characteristics related to broiler locomotion were studied: gait score (GS); incidence of Valgus (VAL) and Varus (VAR) deformities and of pododermatitis (POD); body angle relative the ground (ANG); equilibrium condition (EC); body weight (BW) and breast weight (BrW); and incidence of femoral degeneration (FD), tibial dyschondroplasia (TD) and spondylolisthesis (SPO). GS, and VAL and VAR were assessed inside a broiler house. Birds were then photographed to estimate ANG and EC. Birds were sacrificed at 42 days of age and analyzed for FD, TD, and SPO. Breast percentage was not influenced by sex or strain. Males showed better ANG than females, regardless of strain. Overall, the strains studied showed prostrated EC. The correlation between GS and the evaluated traits was low. There was a moderate to high association between EC and ANG both in males and females. GS showed low correlation with locomotion problems, and therefore, it is a poor indicator of skeletal diseases. On the other hand, the moderate to high correlations of ANG and EC with locomotion problems make them better indicators of bone diseases than gait score, which is possibly more related to EC and body posture than to bone pathologies.
ABSTRACT The objective of this study was evaluated the villus integrity of commercial turkeys submitted to coccidiosis prevention methods and challenged with Eimeria field oocysts, using scanning electron microscopy. Sixty BUT 9 female commercial turkeys were distributed in a completely randomized block design split with two treatments: T1- control diet without vaccinations against coccidiosis and anticoccidial drug, and T2- vaccinated against coccidiosis (commercial vaccine). On d 21 of life, all birds of all treatments were challenged with a mixed-species containing E. meleagrimitis and E. galopavonis, via crop intubation with 1 mL of ~20,000 sporulated oocysts/bird. The size of the inoculum was determined in previous experiments. At 27 and 70 days of age, five birds per treatment were randomly removed to evaluate the intestinal integrity. Duodenum, jejunum and ileum segments were collected and processed according to routine scanning electron microscope. The enteric mucosa integrity of the commercial turkeys subjected to coccidiosis vaccination was reduced when compared to the birds of the control treatment. There was no difference in the performance results, therefore these results cannot be attributed to the vaccination as well as to the ineffectiveness against the challenge that was administered.
ABSTRACT Laying hens reared under tropical conditions are usually under heat stress. Propolis is known for its pharmaceutical properties, such as increasing cell tolerance to hyperthermia, because of its antioxidants effects. This study aimed at evaluating the influence of different dietary propolis inclusion levels on the performance, egg quality, and bird surface temperature of layers. In this experiment 120 55-wk-old Isa Brown(r) layers were distributed according to a completely randomized experimental design into four treatments (0, 1, 2 and 3% dietary propolis inclusion levels), with three replicates of ten birds each. Performance and egg quality parameters, and birds' surface temperature were evaluated. Egg production, egg mass, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio were influenced by the treatments. Bird surface temperature was not affected by propolis dietary inclusion. The egg yolk color changed with the treatment (p<0.05) when brightness and red and yellow concentration were considered. Evaluators noted a slight difference among treatments during the sensory analysis. The use of propolis in the hens' diet did not improve performance and worsened the eggs' quality.
ABSTRACTVitamin D is added to broiler diets to supply its physiological requirement for bone formation. The fast growth rate of modern broilers is often associated with poor bone formation. Increasing vitamin D supplementation levels and the use of more available sources have applied to try to prevent leg problems, to increase carcass yield, and to improve the performance of broilers. The present study evaluated three vitamin D supplementation levels (1) 3,500 IU (control); (2) control + 1,954 IU of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol; and (3) control + 3,500 IU of vitamin D in broiler diets supplied up to 21 days of age. The objective was to investigate if the vitamin D levels above the recommendations could reduce leg problems in broilers. In this experiment, a total of 1,296 one-day-old male and female Cobb(r) 500 broilers were used. A 2 x 3 factorial arrangement was applied, consisting of two sexes and three vitamin D levels. No difference was found between the levels of vitamin D (p > 0.05), the performance of males or females, the gait score, the valgus and varus incidence, the tibial dyschondroplasia incidence, the occurance of femoral degeneration, the bone colorimetric, and the carcass yield. Parts yield differences were found (p > 0.05), except for liver and intestine yields. We concluded that the lowest tested vitamin D level (3,500 IU per kilogram of feed) added to the diet was the best choice in terms of cost/benefit to help minimizing leg problems in broilers.
ABSTRACTThe pre-slaughter period is considered critical in broiler production. Several factors contribute to increase the birds' stress, such as handling, harvesting, and transportation, negatively affecting their welfare. This study aimed at evaluating the addition of lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratusStapf) to the drinking water of broilers during the pre-slaughter period on their behavior, blood cortisol, and surface temperature. The study was carried out at the experimental farm of the Federal University of Grande Dourados (UFGD), Dourados, MS, Brazil. In total, 2594 broilers were distributed according to a completely randomized experimental design, in a 3x2x2 factorial arrangement, with four replicates per treatment. Treatments consisted of three different lemon grass levels (Cymbopogon citratus Stapf) used in the form of an infusion (0, 0.1, and 5 g per L of water), sex (male or female), and genetic strain (Ross(r) 308 or Cobb(r) 500). The infusion was offered when birds were 42 days old. On that day, blood was collected for blood cortisol level determination, broiler surface temperature was recorded, and an ethogram was applied to register broiler behavior. Blood cortisol level and broiler surface temperature were not affected by treatments (p>0.05). The behavior of beak opening was different between the genetic strains (p<0.05), being more frequent in Ross(r) 308 broilers. Lemon grass water content did not affect broilers' surface temperature when consumed during the pre-slaughter period.
This study aimed to assess the yield loss caused by capybaras in rural areas of Dourados-MS, their feeding periods, crop preferences and the landscape characteristics of farms that may affect the occurrence of capybara's herds. Semi-structured interviews in 24 different farms were done during a period between April 2010 and August 2011. Field observations were held at different times of the day, and also during the night in order to record peaks of the feeding behavior in six farms. Direct counting of capybaras along with the group of animals reported as seen by the farmers during the interviews was used to estimate the size of herds. Data was analyzed using the Principal Components Analyses and the Analytic Hierarchy Process. The average number of capybaras found in a regular herd was 18.8 ± 7.90 animals. The average number of capybara herd by farms was of 1.38 ± 0.92 while the average number of capybaras by farms was 32.33 ± 27.87. Capybaras selected rice (Oryza sativa) when it was available (14.5% of devastation in 1.18% of total planted area); however, the most eaten crop was corn (Zea mays) with 38.55% of loss rate in 16.17% of the total planted area. Capybaras ate mostly in the evening and during the night. The availability of water resources in the rural area predisposed the occurrence of capybara's herds.
Este estudo teve como objetivo avaliar a perda de safra causada por capivaras em áreas rurais de Dourados-MS, os períodos de alimentação, preferências por culturas instaladas e as características da paisagem nas fazendas que podem influenciar a ocorrência de rebanhos de capivaras. Entrevistas semiestruturadas em 24 propriedades diferentes foram feitas durante o período entre abril de 2010 e agosto de 2011. As observações de campo foram realizadas em diferentes momentos do dia e também durante a noite, a fim de registrar picos do comportamento alimentar em seis das fazendas amostradas. Contagens diretas de capivaras juntamente com as informações obtidas dos agricultores foram utilizadas para estimar o tamanho dos rebanhos. Utilizou-se a Análise de Componentes Principais e a Análise Multicriterial (Processo de Análise Hierárquica – AHP) para as análises estatísticas. O número médio de capivaras por rebanho foi de 18,8 ± 7,90 animais. o número médio de grupos de capivaras por fazendas foi de 1,38 ± 0,92, e o número médio de capivaras por fazendas foi 32,33 ± 27,87. Capivaras selecionaram arroz (Oryza sativa) quando disponível (14,5% da predação em 1,18% do total da área plantada), no entanto, a cultura mais consumida foi o milho (Zea mays), com 38,55% de perdas em 16,17% da área plantada total, de acordo com os fazendeiros. Capivaras comeram principalmente ao anoitecer e durante a noite. A disponibilidade de recursos hídricos na área rural é um indicador da possibilidade de ocorrência de rebanhos de capivaras.
Black bone syndrome (BBS) affects poultry industry, and it is caused by the darkening of the tissue adjacent to the bone due to leak age of bone marrow contents during cooking. The objective of this experiment was to estimate BBS incidence in chicken thighs. A completely randomized experimental design, with two treatments (refrigerated or frozen) of 50 replicates each, was applied. The influence of BBS on meat quality was assessed according to bone lightness (*L), and meat appearance and sensorial characteristics. Lightness was measured using a colorimeter (Minolta® 410R) positioned on the proximal epiphyseal growth plate. Meat quality was evaluated after roasting by assigning scores for appearance (acceptable = no darkening, intermediate = little darkened, and unacceptable = severe darkening). Twelve refrigerated and 12 frozen thighs were used for sensorial analysis (adjacent muscle appearance, odor, tenderness, and flavor), assessed using a hedonic scale (1 = bad to 10 = very good) by trained panelists. Lightness was submitted to ANOVA and Tukey's test (p<0.05), and the Wilcoxon test (p<0.05) was used to analyze other characteristics. Confidence intervals were established for BBS based on *L values (<37.5=BBS and >37.5=normal). The incidence of BBS was 35%,with a 16%increase thighs were frozen. Meat taste was not influenced by the treatments. Meat appearance, flavor, and tenderness were not affected by freezing or refrigeration, only by BBS degree. It was concluded that freezing increases the incidence of BBS and chicken thighs with bones presenting lower luminosity have worse meat quality.
This study aimed at evaluating total or partial replacement of corn by sorghum in broiler diets and at estimating the effect of the pigment supplementation on broiler performance, carcass and cuts yield, and possible breast and leg pigmentation. We used 1680 one-d-old Ross® 308 broilers. Birds were sexed and distributed according to a completely randomized design (2 x 3 + 1). Treatments consisted of a control diet based on corn and diets with two levels corn replacement by sorghum (50 and 100%) and three pigments levels, with four replicates of 60 birds per treatment. There was no effect (p > 0.05) of the dietary replacement of corn by sorghum on performance, carcass and parts yield, and no changes in breast and leg meat pH (p >0.05). Meat redness (a*), yellowness (b*) and luminosity (L*) increased (p < 0.05) as pigment inclusion levels increased. It was concluded that the use of sorghum instead of corn did not affect broiler performance or carcass and cuts yield. When adequate pigments were used, meat color significantly improved.
This study evaluated the efficacy of training of catching teams and reduction of back scratches in broilers. The study was carried out in a large broiler company between January and October of 2010, in the region of Dourados, Brazil. During that period, 80 samplings were performed in 80 broiler houses in the micro-regions covered by the company. When broilers were 43 days old, when 5% of the birds in each house were evaluated immediately after catching, when birds were already inside the plastic crates, ready to be transported to the processing plant. Out of a total number of 1,177,600 total, 58,880 broilers were evaluated. Four catching teams (A, B, C, and D), with 24 people each, were trained for four consecutive weeks. By the end of the training course, it was observed that average age of the team members and time of catching affected the incidence of back scratches. Training had a positive effect, reducing in 33.13% the incidence if back scratches caused by the catching team due to incorrect catching procedures. Therefore, continuous training is required, particularly when the catching teams are composed of young and inexperienced workers.
Artificial lighting is one of the most powerful management tools available to commercial layer producers. Artificial light allows anticipating or delaying the beginning of lay, improving egg production, and optimizing feed efficiency. This study aimed at comparing the performance of commercial layers submitted to lighting using different LED colors or conventional incandescent lamps. The study was carried out in a layer house divided in isolated environments in order to prevent any influenced from the neighboring treatments. In total, 360 Isa Brown layers, with an initial age of 56 weeks, were used. The following light sources were used: blue LED, yellow LED, green LED, red LED, white LED, and 40W incandescent light. Birds in all treatment were submitted to a 17-h continuous lighting program, and were fed a corn and soybean meal-based diet. A completely randomized experimental design with subplots was applied, with 24 treatments (six light sources and four periods) of three replicates. Egg production (%) was significantly different (p<0.05) among treatments, with the best results obtained with red LED, white LED, and incandescent light sources. Egg weight, feed intake, and internal egg quality (albumen height, specific gravity, and Haugh units) were not influenced (p>0.05) by light source. It was concluded that the replacement of incandescent light bulbs by white and red LEDs does not cause any negative effect on the egg production of commercial layers.
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 chicken production is widely dispersed across the globe, and one important issue for growers is the selection of adequate bedding material, as the availability and price of substrates varies among countries and regions within a same country. This study aimed at applying a multiple criteria analysis approach for the selection of the most appropriate bedding material for broiler production. Based on field research data and growers' experience, the most desirable characteristics of a litter material were chosen as the main criteria. The selected materials were wood shavings, rice husks, chopped Napier grass (Pennisetum pupureum), 50% sugar cane bagasse (Saccharum L.) plus 50% wood shavings, 50% sugar cane bagasse (Saccharum L.) plus 50% rice husks, and pure sugar cane bagasse (Saccharum L.). The analytical hierarchy process (AHP) was applied for selecting the most suitable bedding material. Validation was performed using data from previous studies carried out in central-western Brazil on the effects of different types of bedding material on broiler carcass quality. Considering the selected criteria, several bedding materials were tested and ranked, and the results showed that wood-shavings litter was the best option (weight = 0.28), followed by rice husks (weight = 0.24). All other tested alternatives presented lower scores and were, therefore, not considered for use. The AHP approach was found to be an efficient tool to select the most appropriate litter material under specific scenarios.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of different litter materials on litter compaction, broiler feathering and the incidence of carcass lesions. In the experiment, 3240 one-day-old Ross® chicks were selected by sex and distributed according to a completely randomized experimental design in a 2 x 6 factorial arrangement (two sex and six litter materials). The following litter materials were used: wood shavings, rice husks, chopped Napier grass, 50% sugar cane bagasse plus 50% wood shavings, 50% sugar cane bagasse plus 50% rice husks, and pure sugar cane bagasse. Litter compaction was weekly assessed using a penetrometer. On days 21, 35 and 42 of the experimental period, feathering on the back and legs was scored according to a 0 - 10 scale. On day 42, birds were slaughtered and the presence of bruises, scratches and footpad lesions was recorded. Litter material had no effect on bird feathering. Carcass lesions (scratches, bruises and footpad lesions) were influenced by the litter material evaluated. Birds reared on sugarcane bagasse and chopped Napier grass presented more scratches, bruises and footpad lesions than the others. Dermatitis was more evident in birds reared on sugarcane bagasse, chopped Napier grass and the combination of litter materials. It was found that males presented higher incidence of dermatitis and footpad lesions than females. Each litter material presented different compaction degrees, which increased along the experimental period. Sugarcane bagasse, chopped Napier grass and the combination of bedding materials presented the highest degree of compaction, compared with wood shavings and rice husks.
Brazil must comply with international quality standards and animal welfare requirements in order to maintain its position as world's largest exporter of poultry meat. With the scenario of global climate change there is the forecast of occurrence of extreme events with characteristics of both excess cold and heat for several regions of the country. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of using images of infrared thermography to evaluate the loss of sensible heat in young broilers fed different dietary energy levels. Twenty birds were reared in a house with appropriate brooding using infrared lamps. Birds were distributed in a completely randomized experimental into two treatments: T1 (control diet with 2950 kcal ME/kg-1), and T2 (high-energy diet with 3950 kcal ME/kg-1). Infrared thermographic images of the birds were recorded for four consecutive days. One bird was randomly chosen per treatment, and had special images taken and analyzed. Average surface temperature of the body area was calculated using the surface temperature recorded at 100 spots (50 at the front and 50 at the lateral side of the bird's body). Mean surface temperature of the flock was calculated recording 100 spots on the group of birds. Total radiant heat loss was calculated based on the average data of surface temperature. The results indicated that the young broilers fed the high-energy diet presented a metabolic energy loss equivalent to 0.64 kcal h-1, while the birds fed with the control diet lost 2.18 kcal h-1. This finding confirms that oil supplementation to the diet reduces bird heat loss. The infrared camera was able to record young broilers' surface temperature variation when birds were fed diets with different energy contents.
It is known that PSE meat present important functional defects, such as low water holding capacity and ultimate pH, which may compromise the quality of further-processed meat products. In this study, L* (lightness), a* (redness), and b* (yellowness) values of 500 chicken breast fillets were determined using a portable colorimeter (Minolta, model CR-400) in a commercial processing plant. Fillets were considered pale when their L* was >49. Out of those samples, 30 fillets with normal color and 30 pale fillets were evaluated as to pH, drip loss, cooking loss, water holding capacity, shear force, and submitted to sensorial analysis. An incidence of 10.20% PSE meat was determined. Pale and normal fillets presented significantly different (p<0.05) pH values, L* and a* values, water holding capacity, drip loss, and cooking loss, demonstrating changes in the physical properties of PSE meat. Shear force and sensorial characteristics were not different (p>0.05) between pale and normal fillets. Despite the significant differences in meat physical properties, these were not perceived by consumers in terms of tenderness, aspect, and flavor. The observed incidence of PSE may cause losses due to its low water retention capacity.