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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Olanrewaju, Hammed
item Miller, W
item Maslin, W
item Thaxton, J
item Dozier Iii, William
item Purswell, Joseph
item Branton, Scott

Submitted to: International Journal of Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2007
Publication Date: 12/5/2007
Citation: Olanrewaju, H.A., Miller, W.W., Maslin, W.R., Thaxton, J.P., Dozier III, W.A., Purswell, J.L., Branton, S.L. 2007. Interactive effects of ammonia and light intensity on ocular, fear and leg health in broiler chickens. International Journal of Poultry Science. 6(10):762-769.

Interpretive Summary: N/A for abstract.

Technical Abstract: Purpose. High gaseous ammonia is detrimental to poultry health under confined environments; ocular disease is common in chickens during the first two week of placement. Furthermore, welfare consultants have expressed concerns that low light-intensity may cause damage to the lens, leading to blindness. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the interactive effects of ammonia and light-intensity on ocular, fear and leg health in broilers. Methods. We evaluated the interactive effects of inhalation of ambient air with elevated ammonia concentrations and different light-intensities on eyes lesions and welfare (fear, leg-health) in day old broilers under environmentally controlled conditions. Results. Our result indicated that ammonia concentrations at 25 and 50 ppm induced eye lesions from d 7 of exposure. Lighting-intensities alone yielded no significant eye lesions. The interaction of 50-ppm ammonia and light-intensity of 2 and 20 lx for 14 days further exacerbated eye lesions. The effect of ammonia was more pronounced than that of light-intensities. These conditions worsened linearly as duration of ammonia concentration exposure and light-intensity increased from d 7 of exposure. The eye lesions induced by ammonia and light intensity interaction quickly decreased starting one week following 2 weeks of ammonia exposure. Conclusion: The data indicate that ammonia has the greatest detrimental effect on ocular health of young broilers although higher light intensities may exacerbate the effects of ammonia. Ammonia induced uveitis in chickens clears rapidly upon cessation to ammonia exposure and there were no effects of ammonia, light-intensity or their interaction on fear and leg-health.

Last Modified: 07/27/2017
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