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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Poultry Research » Research » Research Project #438554

Research Project: Effects of Environmental Conditions in Live Production on Production Efficiency and Product Quality in Commercial Poultry

Location: Poultry Research

Project Number: 6064-32630-008-04-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2020
End Date: Sep 30, 2022

Objective:
Characterize the environmental factors in commercial broiler production which contribute to development of muscle myopathies and develop energy and water use efficient control strategies for mitigation.

Approach:
The experimental treatments will be applied during early-stage incubation (ED 4 through 11, when myogenesis is occurring) and will be as follows: 1) Control incubation profile recommended by the broiler primary breeder guidelines (NORM), 2) hypothermic (ESCOLD) in which the incubation temperature curve will be set 3°F below NORM, and 3) hyperthermic (ESHOT) in which the incubation temperature curve will be set 3°F above NORM from ED 4 to 11. Temperature set points on the incubator temperatures will be set equivalent to the NORM treatment from ED 1 to 3 and from ED 12 to d 21 (through hatching). Broiler eggs from feather-sexable broiler lines (n = 1,620) will be sourced from the same breeder flock, weighed, and randomly assigned to racks in incubators (n = 6; 2 replicate incubators per treatment). Each incubator will be set to turn eggs hourly and the same machine will be used for both incubation (with racks) and hatching (with baskets). Exp. 2 Impact of late-stage incubation temperature variation on the WB myopathy: The experimental treatments will be applied during late-stage incubation (ED 12 through hatch, after myogenesis has largely occurred) and will be as follows: 1) Control incubation profile as above (NORM), 2) hypothermic (LSCOLD) in which the incubation temperature curve will be set 3°F below NORM, and 3) hyperthermic (LSHOT) in which the incubation temperature curve will be set 3°F above NORM from ED 12 to 18. Temperature set points on the incubators will be set equivalent to the NORM treatment from ED 0 to 11 and in the hatchers from ED 18 to 21 (through hatching). Eggs (n = 1,620) will be sourced and incubated in NatureForm NMC as for Exp. 1. Behavior and locomotion will be measured using machine vision in commercial broiler houses using a combination of infrared, thermal, and 3D imaging to determine gross movement, clustering behaviors, and resting behaviors. In parallel, environmental variables such as air temperature, globe temperature, humidity, air speed, lighting will be measured to correlate to product quality data collected at processing.