Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2004
Publication Date: 7/25/2004
Citation: Virden, W.S., Zumwalt, C.D., Thaxton, J.P., Branton, S.L., Kidd, M.T. 2004. Evaluation of different means of feeding corticosterone to broilers to elicit a stress response. Poultry Science Association Meeting. v. 83(Suppl. 1). Abstract M299. p. 74. Interpretive Summary: abstract only, no summary required
Technical Abstract: Glucocorticoid hormones such as corticosterone (CS) are necessary to facilitate the catabolism of protein and fat to produce glucose for energy during stress. If excessive levels of blood CS are maintained, detrimental effects on growth can occur due to excessive turnover of body tissue for gluconeogenesis. Two experiments (Exp) were conducted to determine the effects of feeding CS on broiler performance using two methods at different ages. In Exp 1, Ross 308 male chicks were placed in floor pens and received either a control diet, or a diet containing 5 mg/kg of CS suspended in soybean oil (2 treatments, 24 replications) during the prestarter period (d 1 to 7). From d 8 to 21, chicks received common starter diets containing no CS. A factorial array of diet (high or low nutrient density (ND) fed from d 1 to 42) and CS (0 or 20 mg/kg of diet in ethanol administered from d 18 to 21) was used to evaluate performance of Ross 308 chicks in Exp 2. In Exp 1, chicks receiving CS had decreased (P < 0.05) BW gain, feed intake, and livability from d 0 to 21. In Exp 2, CS and ND interacted (P < 0.05) to affect feed intake from d 0 to 34, as broilers fed diets containing high ND and CS had higher feed intake than broilers fed low ND and CS. From d 0 to 21 and d 0 to 42 feed intake was decreased (P < 0.05) in broilers fed CS. Dietary ND improved (P < 0.05) BW gain in all periods, but only overall feed conversion. Dietary CS decreased and increased (P < 0.05) BW gain and feed conversion, respectively, from 0 to 21, 0 to 34, and 0 to 42 d. Subsequent experimentation is underway to evaluate blood profiles and chemistry of broilers to correlate findings to the results presented herein.