Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 301-306

Welfare of broilers ingesting a pre-slaughter hydric diet of lemon grass

Royer, A. F. BGarcia, R. GBorille, RSantana, M. RNããs, I. ACaldara, F. RAlmeida Paz, I. C. LZeviani, W. MAlves, F. M. SSgavioli, SMariano, W. S

The pre-slaughter period is considered critical in broiler production. Several factors contribute to increase the birds' stress, such as handling, harvesting, and transportation, negatively affecting their welfare. This study aimed at evaluating the addition of lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratusStapf) to the drinking water of broilers during the pre-slaughter period on their behavior, blood cortisol, and surface temperature. The study was carried out at the experimental farm of the Federal University of Grande Dourados (UFGD), Dourados, MS, Brazil. In total, 2594 broilers were distributed according to a completely randomized experimental design, in a 3x2x2 factorial arrangement, with four replicates per treatment. Treatments consisted of three different lemon grass levels (Cymbopogon citratus Stapf) used in the form of an infusion (0, 0.1, and 5 g per L of water), sex (male or female), and genetic strain (Ross(r) 308 or Cobb(r) 500). The infusion was offered when birds were 42 days old. On that day, blood was collected for blood cortisol level determination, broiler surface temperature was recorded, and an ethogram was applied to register broiler behavior. Blood cortisol level and broiler surface temperature were not affected by treatments (p>0.05). The behavior of beak opening was different between the genetic strains (p 0.05), being more frequent in Ross(r) 308 broilers. Lemon grass water content did not affect broilers' surface temperature when consumed during the pre-slaughter period.(AU)

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