The Effect of Diet Wetting and Diet Energy Level on Performance and Physiological and Microbiological Traits of Broiler Chicks Subjected to Heat Stress

Abstract

This study was conducted at the poultry farm, Department of Animal Resources, college of Agriculture, university of Baghdad. The field experiment was executed during the period from September 19 to October 30/2014. After the exculation of field work, the Laboratory work started from November 1st to December 1st 2014.The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of feed wetting (1.5 L water : 1 kg feed) and feed metabolism energy (ME) level (Low and High energy) on broiler performance and some physiological and microbiological traits of broiler chicks subjected to heat stress. A total of 192 unsexed, one day old, Ross 308 broiler chicks were randomly divided into 4 treatment groups with four replicates (12 chicks / replicate). The first 7 days of the treatment the chicks set together without any treatment. Data were recorded from days 7 – 42 of age. The four treatment groups were as follow: T1: chicks fed on dry and low ME level diet and used as control. T2: chicks fed on wet and low ME diets. T3: chicks fed on dry and high ME level diets. T4: chicks fed on wet and high ME level diets. Results indicated that the wet high energy feed with water had a significant effect in improving body weight, weight gain, feed conversion ratio. Significant in the mortality percentages in the treatments providing wet feed. While the wet feed treatments had no significant effects on dressing percentages, relative weights of carcass cuts, giblets, and total protein concentration in the serum. In conclusion, the wet feeding contributed to the alleviation of the negative effects of heat stress in broiler performance, which led to improve productive performance, better results achieved when using wet feed-high energy (T4).