Submitted to: International Journal of Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 23, 2011
Publication Date: August 25, 2011
Citation: Purswell, J.L., Davis, J.D., Luck, B.D., Kim, E.J., Olanrewaju, H.A., Kiess, A.S., Branton, S.L. 2011. Effects of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations on broiler chicken performance from 28 to 49 days. International Journal of Poultry Science. 10(8):597-602. Interpretive Summary: Improvements in modern broiler housing have substantially reduced air leakage, making proper operation of ventilation systems critical to maintaining a suitable environment. Increased fuel prices have resulted in contract growers reducing ventilation rates to conserve heat, resulting in elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations. Four trials were conducted to determine the effects of elevated CO2 concentrations on performance of broilers from 28 to 49 days. No differences were observed in live performance or processing yields. Simulation of housing environments which maintain the tested CO2 concentrations confirms that minimum ventilation to exhaust moisture produced by broilers is sufficient to maintain CO2 concentrations at acceptable levels.
Technical Abstract: Improvements in modern broiler housing have substantially reduced air leakage, making proper operation of ventilation systems critical to maintaining a suitable environment. Fuel prices have increased in recent years, leading to reduced minimum ventilation in order to conserve fuel which increases carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations within the house. Four trials were conducted to assess the effects of increased CO2 concentrations on birds aged 28 to 49 days. Each trial used 300 straight-run broilers placed in environmentally controlled rooms where CO2 concentrations were maintained with no added CO2 (control), 2500 ppm, 2500 ppm (day) and 4500 ppm (night), or 2500 ppm (day) and 6500 ppm (night) from 28 to 42 days. No differences in live production (body weight, body weight gain, feed intake, and feed conversion) or processing yields were observed. Analysis of ventilation rates to maintain the test conditions for a commercial broiler house showed that while supplemental heat requirements are lower with reduced ventilation needed to maintain either 4500 or 6500 ppm, the associated ventilation rates are inadequate for moisture removal.