Impact of post-natal transport duration and parental age on broiler chick welfare and performance

Leonie Jacobs, Evelyne Delezie, Frank Tuyttens, Bart Ampe, Klara Goethals, Luc Duchateau

    Onderzoeksoutput: Hoofdstuk in Boek/Rapport/CongresprocedureC3: Congres abstractpeer review


    The impact of post-natal transport on chick welfare and production is still poorly understood. The effect of transport likely depends on the chicks’ quality, which is influenced by parental age. The aim of the study was therefore to assess the effect of post-natal transport duration and parental age on chick welfare and performance. After hatch, 3240 mixed-sex chicks from either 29-wk-old (young) or 60-wk-old (old) breeders were transported for 1.5h (short) or 11h (long). After transport, 2800 chicks were divided over 100 pens. On average 6 chicks per crate (n=228) were selected to assess chick quality, body weight (BW) and yolk sac weight (YW) at d1. After culling, blood was collected and assayed for stress parameters. Average daily gain (ADG) and BW were recorded until d41. No interaction effect of parental age and transport duration was found for any of the variables. Chick quality was lower in chicks from old versus young breeders (P<0.001). BW (P<0.001) and YW (P<0.0001) at d1 were lower for chicks from young breeders compared to those from old breeders, and for chicks transported for 11h compared to the 1.5h-transported chicks (BW: P<0.01; YW: P<0.0001). The BW-difference between parental age treatments persisted until slaughter, and ADG was higher for chicks from old breeders (P=0.017). Transport did not affect performance (BW until d41, ADG). Long transport resulted in lower plasma lipid peroxidation (P<0.001), but higher corticosterone levels (CORT, P<0.001) compared to short transport. Lactate (P=0.063) and glucose (P=0.077) levels tended to be lower after long transport. Chicks from young breeders had higher CORT levels than those from old breeders (P<0.001). Parental age affected chick welfare, quality and performance. Long transport caused a stress response, as indicated by reduced glucose and lactate, and elevated CORT levels. However, there are no indications that 11h-transports in Belgium impose long-term performance risks.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    TitelProceedings of teh XXVth World's Poultry Congress
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2016
    EvenementXXV World’s Poultry Congress - Beijing, China, Beijing, China
    Duur: 5-sep.-20169-sep.-2016

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