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Effects of constant environmental temperatures on the performance of laying pullets



Effects of constant environmental temperatures on the performance of laying pullets



British Poultry Science 28(3): 361-380



1. Two experiments are described in which laying pullets maintained at constant temperatures were fed a range of diets with a view to defining optimum combinations of temperature and nutrient intake. 2. In the first experiment, all combinations of 6 temperatures (15.degree., 18.degree., 21.degree., 24.degree., 27.degree. and 30.degree. C) 9 diets (three protein concentrations and three energy contents) and two stocks were tested for 34 weeks using 4320 pullets. In experiment 2, all combinations of three rearing temperatures, three laying temperatures (18.degree., 22.5.degree. and 27.degree. C) three diets (protein concentration) and two stocks were tested for 61 weeks using 2160 pullets. 3. As anticipated, higher dietary protein concentrations were needed to maintain egg output at higher temperatures. If diets supplying adequate amino acid intakes were provided, egg output was unaffected by temperatures in the range 15.degree. to 27.degree. C although, at the highest temperature, egg weight was slightly reduced and rate of lay (particularly in the later part of the laying year) was increased. At 30.degree. C, egg output was depressed whichever diet was fed. 4. Dietary energy content had small but significant effects on egg weight and egg output but did not interact with temperature. It was not possible to maintain egg weight or egg output at 30.degree. C by feeding a high energy, high protein diet. 5. Estimated heat output of the birds increased during the course of the experiment at the lower temperatures but decreased with time at 30.degree. C. Feather loss occurred earlier at the lower temperatures and this is interpreted as an effect of temperature on the timing of the annual moult, which also accounts for the better peristency of lay observed at 27.degree. C.

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Accession: 001580188

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 3676872

DOI: 10.1080/00071668708416971



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