Document Detail

High-fibre pelleted rations decrease water intake but do not improve physiological indexes of welfare in food-restricted female broiler breeders.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16546792     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
1. A 3x2 factorial experiment was conducted with three diets and two lines of broiler breeder females to evaluate the contribution of low-energy rations for improving the welfare of feed-restricted birds during rearing. Experimental diets were fed from 6 to 16 weeks of age and were created by diluting a conventional grower (Control) ration containing 11.0 MJ ME/kg with 200 (8.8 MJ ME/kg) or 400 (6.6 MJ ME/kg) g oat hulls/kg using Optimoist to facilitate the pelleting process. Welfare was assessed by changes in behaviour and physiological variables at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age. Birds were fed restricted quantities of feed to meet recommended body weight targets. 2. There was a decrease in the proportion of observations of drinking and an increase of preening in birds fed on the two experimental diets compared with the control. There was a linear decrease in litter moisture and the number of litter changes with increasing diet dilution, and water intake at 12 weeks was higher in the control than in the two experimental diets. There were no changes in physiological indexes of welfare (heterophil-lymphocyte ratio, plasma corticosterone and antibody responses) associated with the dietary treatments. 3. There were no important differences in the growth, behaviour or physiological responses to dietary treatment between the two lines of broiler breeders. Changes with age were similar to those reported in other experiments. 4. It was concluded that low-energy pelleted diets would improve litter conditions but not improve indexes of welfare in feed-restricted broiler breeders.
P M Hocking
Publication Detail:
Type:  Controlled Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  British poultry science     Volume:  47     ISSN:  0007-1668     ISO Abbreviation:  Br. Poult. Sci.     Publication Date:  2006 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-03-20     Completed Date:  2006-06-13     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  15740290R     Medline TA:  Br Poult Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  19-23     Citation Subset:  IM    
Roslin Institute (Edinburgh), Scotland.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Feed*
Animal Welfare*
Behavior, Animal
Body Weight
Chickens / physiology*
Corticosterone / blood
Drinking / physiology*
Food Deprivation*
Reg. No./Substance:

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