Impact of embryonic manipulations on core body temperature dynamics and survival in broilers exposed to cyclic heat stressopen access
- Ncho, Chris Major; Goel, Akshat; Gupta, Vaishali; Jeong, Chae-Mi; Choi, Yang-Ho
- Issue Date
- NATURE PORTFOLIO
- SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v.12, no.1
- Journal Title
- SCIENTIFIC REPORTS
- Ambient temperature-associated stress has been shown to affect the normal physiological functions of birds. The recent literature indicated that both, embryonic thermal manipulation (ETM) and in ovo feeding (IOF) of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) can mitigate the deleterious effects of heat stress (HS) in young broiler chicks. Therefore, this study intended to assess the effects of cyclic HS (32 +/- 1 degrees C, 4 h/day from day 29 to 35) on rectal temperatures (RTs) and survival in broiler chickens after ETM and in IOF of GABA. A total of 275 RT data points and survival data were collected from chicks assigned to the following five treatments: chicks hatched from control eggs (CON); chicks hatched from control eggs but exposed to HS (CON + HS); chicks hatched from eggs injected at 17.5 days of incubation with 0.6 mL of 10% GABA and exposed to HS (G10 + HS); chicks hatched from thermally manipulated eggs (39.6 degrees C, 6 h/day from embryonic days 10 to 18) and exposed to HS (TM + HS); chicks hatched from eggs that received both previous treatments during incubation and exposed to HS (G10 + TM + HS). Under thermoneutral conditions, RTs increased quadratically from 39.9 +/- 0.2 degrees C at hatching to 41.4 +/- 0.1 degrees C at 8 days of age. When exposed to cyclic HS during the last week of rearing, the birds' RTs tended to decrease at the end of the heat stress challenge (from 43.0 +/- 0.2 degrees C on day 29 to 42.4 +/- 0.1 degrees C on day 35). A stepwise Cox regression indicated that treatment was predictive of birds' survival. Hazard ratios (HR) and their confidence intervals (CI) were calculated to assess the likelihood of death during the trial. The birds, belonging to the G10 + TM + HS group, were less likely to die under HS (HR 0.11, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.91, P = 0.041) compared to the CON + HS birds. Taken together, the combination of ETM and GABA IOF may help mitigate the drawbacks of cyclic HS by improving the survival of broilers.
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