Effect of dietary energy and stocking density on the performance and sensible heat loss of broilers reared under tropical winter conditions
Data de publicação2013-03-01
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The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of different dietary energy levels and stocking densities on the thermoregulating parameters, live performance, and carcass traits of broilers reared under tropical winter conditions at different times of the day. In total, 1,312 one-d-old male broilers were used. Birds were allotted to three different stocking densities (10, 14 or 18 birds/m²) and two dietary energy levels (2900 or 3200 kcal ME/kg). The following parameters were evaluated:radiant heat load (RHL), rectal temperature (RT), feed intake (FI), weight gain (WG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), livability (L), production of live weight per area (WA), and carcass yield. Stocking density did not affect sensible heat loss (SRL) or rectal temperature (RT); however, as expected, sensible heat loss (SRL) and RT were influenced by time of the day, with higher values in the morning and in the afternoon, respectively. There was no effect of treatment (p>0.05) on carcass or parts yield. Feed intake was reduced in 3%, whereas weight gain and feed conversion ratio improved in 8 and 10%, respectively, as dietary energy level increased. on the other hand, stocking density did not influence live performance or carcass traits. Based on the present results, it is concluded that sensible heat loss depends on dietary energy levels and particularly on time of the day. Therefore, environmental house management is suggested during tropical winters in order to reduce differences between broiler skin and environmental temperatures in the morning and in the afternoon.