A Study on the Plasma Biochemical Indices of Heat-Stressed Broilers

  • Lin, H. ;
  • Du, R. ;
  • Gu, X.H. ;
  • Li, F.C. ;
  • Zhang, Z.Y.
  • Received : 2000.01.18
  • Accepted : 2000.04.04
  • Published : 2000.09.01


Four experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of temperature and humidity on biochemical indices of Arbor Acres broilers at different weeks of age. The alkaline phosphatase (AKP), acid phosphatase (ACP), lactic dehydrogenase (LD), creatine kinase (CK), plasma glucose (Glu), calcium (Ca), potassium (K), chloride (Cl), urea nitrogen (UN), uric acid (UA), plasma thyroxin (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and insulin levels were determined in all the four experiments. In experiment 1, the plasma Glu, LD and CK levels were increased by heat exposure ($35{^{\circ}C}$ and 35, 60, or 85% RH, 2 h) and this effect was aggravated by longer exposure (24 h). No significant changes (p>0.05) were found in Ca concentration, activity of AKP and ACP. In experiment 2, temperature (10, 20, 30, $33{^{\circ}C}$) had significant effect on the levels of K, Cl, UN, UA levels and the activity of LD (p<0.01), but had no significant influence on the activity of CK (p>0.05). The UN, UK and LD levels were elevated by low temperature $(10{^{\circ}C})$ (p<0.01), Cl content was increased by high temperature ($(33{^{\circ}C})$ (p<0.01), and K level was decreased by high ($(33{^{\circ}C})$ or low $(10{^{\circ}C})$ temperature and increased by medium temperature $(30{^{\circ}C})$ (p<0.01). The humidity (35, 85% RH) only had significant effect on Cl concentration which was decreased by high humidity (p<0.01). In experiment 3, the result showed that only the LD and CK activity were significantly increased (p<0.01) by high temperature (7, 24, 28, $32{^{\circ}C}$) or high humidity (35, 85% RH). Temperature and humidity had no significant effect on K, Cl, UA, UN and Glu levels (p>0.05). In experiment 4 (24, 27, 30, $33{^{\circ}C}$; 30, 45, 60, 75, 90% RH), plasma T3 level was declined by high temperature $(33{^{\circ}C})$, and this phenomena disappeared in birds under high temperature and high humidity environment. T4 concentration in plasma was not affected by temperature (p>0.05), but was increased by high or low humidity (p<0.01). Neither temperature nor humidity had significant effect on plasma insulin concentration (p>0.05). The results of the four experiments suggested that broilers at different growth periods might have different thermal requirements and would response differently to heat exposure. The plasma biochemical indices themselves had big variation; the reaction of the indices to thermal exposure treatment differed with the age of broilers. The big variation of biochemical indices themselves might cover the response of indices to temperature and humidity treatments.


Heat Stress;Temperature;Humidity;Biochemical Indices;Broiler

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