Document Detail


The aversion of broiler chickens to concurrent vibrational and thermal stressors.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11376838     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
The requirement for assessing the effects of multiple concurrent stressors in improving the welfare of broiler chickens during transport has not been widely recognised. A discrete-choice technique was used to investigate the aversion of broiler chickens to concurrent vibrational and thermal transport stressors. In experiment 1, 12 female broiler chickens, aged 42+/-3 days were studied individually using two choice-chambers. Each chamber had four compartments connected via a central zone and offered four treatments; thermal (T: air temperature; 40 degrees C, 21% RH), vibrational (V: frequency; 2Hz, acceleration; 1ms(-2)), concurrent vibrational and thermal (VT) and no applied stressors (N). Coloured compartment wall panels, allocated at random, assisted chickens' identification of compartments. Birds were fasted overnight and were required to make five consecutive choices on each of four consecutive days. A choice was defined as entering a compartment and feeding (5g pellets), whereupon confinement for 60min was initiated. Choices were totalled over all birds and analysed using a log-linear generalised linear model. The vibration was significantly avoided (V and VT versus N and T; P<0.05) but the thermal stressor was not (T and VT versus N and V; P>0.05) and there was no interaction. In experiment 2, the procedure was repeated with 12 more birds and modifications to increase method sensitivity and maximise bird learning. Choices were more disparate than before with vibration avoided to a greater extent (V and VT versus T and N; P<0.01) but there was still no main effect of the thermal treatment or a significant interaction. Substantial differences between individuals were observed in both experiments. The overall response to vibration supported previous findings for short-term exposure, however, non-avoidance of the thermal treatment was unexpected. Possibly, the birds were unable to associate the delayed heat stress with the compartment. Alternatively, the thermal conditions were not perceived as aversive either initially or throughout the 60min confinement. The preference method provides a useful starting point for assessing combinations of stressors which affect broiler welfare, allowing relative ranking of treatments from an animal-centred perspective.
Authors:
S M. Abeyesinghe; C M. Wathes; C J. Nicol; J M. Randall
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Applied animal behaviour science     Volume:  73     ISSN:  0168-1591     ISO Abbreviation:  Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci.     Publication Date:  2001 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-May-29     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8504276     Medline TA:  Appl Anim Behav Sci     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  199-215     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Bio-engineering Division, Silsoe Research Institute, Wrest Park, Silsoe, MK45 4HS, Bedford, UK
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