Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/19/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The temperature in broiler chicken houses has a big impact on growth rate and feed conversion. Ventilation fans use electricity, and LP gas is used for heat to give more favorable temperatures. The research was conducted to obtain baseline data that broiler growers can use to determine the economic value of incremental changes in temperature. Feed conversion results showed that large broilers are hurt much more by warm temperatures than are small broilers. Equations were derived for growth rate and feed conversion. Broiler growers can use the information to improve profitability because they will be able to use the equations to calculate the economic benefits obtained from electricity and LP gas inputs.
Technical Abstract: High environmental temperatures are detrimental to the growth and feed:gain of broilers. The objective of this research was to determine the effects of incremental differences in environmental temperature on growth and feed:gain. The data are needed for decisions about the profitability of energy inputs when managing the housing environment. In Trial 1, broiler chicks were reared as a group to 21 d on litter with constant lighting and with water and feed available ad libitum. They were then moved to ten environmental chambers. Each chamber was set at a different temperature ranging from 21.1 C to 31.1 C in 1.1 C increments. Weight gain and feed:gain were determined when the broilers were 28, 35 and 42 d old. In Trials 2 and 3, broilers were placed in the environmental chambers, and weight gain and feed:gain were determined for the 42-49 day period. The data were analyzed statistically, and regression equations were obtained for growth and feed:gain. Equations were based on body weight and temperature, and the body weight equation was plotted as grams gain per bird per day. Feed:gain was plotted for that body weight and temperature. The data will be useful to evaluate various management scenarios to determine the inputs that are profitable.