Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Research Article
Adv. Anim. Vet. Sci. 9(2): 301-314
Http://dx.doi.org/10.17582/journal.aavs/2021/9.2.301.314
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Essam S. Soliman1*, Ahmed A. Ali2, Rehab E.M. Gafaar3

*1Animal, Poultry and Environmental Hygiene Division, Department of Animal Hygiene, Zoonosis, and Animal Behavior, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia 41522, Egypt. ORCID: 0000-0001-5824-5957; 2Animal Behavior and Management Division, Department of Animal Hygiene, Zoonosis, and Animal Behavior, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia 41522, Egypt. ORCID: 0000-0001-6532-6990; 3Food Hygiene Department, Animal Health Research Institute, Ismailia, Egypt, 41513.

Abstract | Achieving optimum thermoneutral zone in broiler houses provokes enhanced performance, productivity, and welfare. The influence of different heating systems on microclimatic air quality, litter abiotic, performance, behavior, some carcass characteristics, intestinal microbiota, E. coli & Salmonella isolation, immunoglobulin concentrations, and cortisol levels in broilers was studied. Two hundred one-day-old female Ross® 308 broilers were divided into four groups (50 each) in four independent rooms (G1, G2, G3, and G4) supplied with gas-operated, halogen, oil, and portable air conditioner heaters, respectively. A total of 1520 samples including 200 litter, 200 air, 160 sera, 160 intestinal swabs, 160 breast muscles, and 640 organ samples including liver, spleen, heart, and bursa of Fabricius were collected. The results revealed highly significant declines (P < 0.01) of carbon dioxide and ammonia concentrations, litter pH and moisture percentages, feed conversions, water intakes, locomotion & panting behaviors, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, urea, creatinine, total bacterial and Enterobacteriaceae counts, E. coli and Salmonella isolation and counts, and cortisol levels, as well as, highly significant increases (P < 0.01) of weight gains, performance indices, live weights, feeding & resting behaviors, carcass and organs weights, total protein, albumin, and immunoglobulin concentrations in broilers raised with oil and portable air conditioner heaters rather than those reared with a gas-operated torch and halogen heaters. The study concluded that using an advanced and clean source of heat as oil or air conditioner heaters can meet the broiler’s microclimatic requirements without representing a source of stress on birds.

Keywords | Air quality, Behavior, Broilers, Heating systems, Litter abiotic, Immunoglobulin.