Effect of transportation duration of 1-day-old chicks on postplacement production performances and pododermatitis of broilers up to slaughter age

Bergoug, H and Guinebretiere, M and Tong, Q and Roulston, N and Romanini, C E B and Exadaktylos, V and Berckmans, D and Garain, P and Demmers, T G M and McGonnell, I M and Bahr, C and Burel, C and Eterradossi, N and Michel, V (2013) Effect of transportation duration of 1-day-old chicks on postplacement production performances and pododermatitis of broilers up to slaughter age. POULTRY SCIENCE, 92 (12). pp. 3300-3309.

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Abstract

This experiment studied the effect of transportation duration of 1-d-old chicks on dehydration, mortality, production performance, and pododermatitis during the growout period. Eggs from the same breeder flock (Ross PM3) were collected at 35, 45, and 56 wk of age, for 3 successive identical experiments. In each experiment, newly hatched chicks received 1 of 3 transportation duration treatments from the hatchery before placement in the on-site rearing facility: no transportation corresponding to direct placement in less than 5 min (T00), or 4 (T04) or 10 h (T10) of transportation. The chicks were housed in 35-m2 pens (650 birds each) and reared until 35 d old. Hematocrit and chick BW were measured on sample chicks before and after transportation. During the growout period, bird weight, feed uptake, and feed conversion ratio were measured weekly until slaughter. Transportation duration affected BW; T00 groups had a significantly higher BW than T04 and T10 transported birds but this effect lasted only until d 21. No clear effect on hematocrit, feed uptake, feed conversion ratio, or mortality was observed for birds transported up to 10 h. The decrease in weight in T10 birds was associated with less severe pododermatitis. Increasing age of the breeder flock was correlated with reduced egg fertility and hatchability, and also with higher quality and BW of hatched chicks. Chicks from older breeders also exhibited reduced mortality during the growout period.