Effect of a simulated heat wave on stress parameters of broiler chicken housed at two different stocking densities


  • Arantxa Villagra CITA-IVIA
  • Irene Olivas CITA-IVIA
  • Nemesio Fernandez UPV
  • Manuel Lainez CITA-IVIA
  • Vasco Fitas Universidade Evora
  • Antonio G Torres UPV



A. Villagrá1, I. Olivas1, N. Fernández2, M. Lainez1, V. Fitas3, A. G. Torres2

(1. Centro de Tecnología Animal. Polígono La Esperanza nº 100, 12400, Segorbe, Castellón, Spain;

2. Instituto de Cienciay Tecnología Animal, E.T.S.I. Agrónomos, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia,

Camino de Vera s/n, 46022, Valencia, Spain;

3. ICAAM, Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Évora, Apartado 94, 7002-554, Évora, Portugal)


Abstract: High temperatures and relative humidities are common in certain areas in summer (for example in the Mediterranean area), and can raise the indoor temperature of the farms.  The aim of this paper was to assess the possible differences in the response to this situation of broilers housed at two different stocking densities (15 and 20 birds/m2).  On day 29 until day 36, the indoor temperature increased to 32℃ from 10:00 to 14:00 and maintained at 28℃ for the rest of the day and the relative humidity was maintained at 75%.  Measured variables before and after this treatment were weight, plasma corticosterone, creatine kinase (CK), aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transferase (ALT), glucose (GLU), heterophil lymphocyte ratio and rectal temperature.  Results showed that no differences were found between the animals housed at 15 birds/m2 and those at  20 birds/m2, so stocking density had no significant effect on the measured parameters.  In addition, corticosterone concentration and alanine transferase appeared as not useful parameters to study this situation.

Keywords: broiler, stocking density, enzymes activity, heat wave, hot conditions


Citation: A. Villagrá, I. Olivas, N. Fernández, M. Lainez, V. Fitas, and A. G. Torres.  Effect of a simulated heat wave on stress parameters of broiler chicken housed at two different stocking densities.  Agric Eng Int: CIGR Journal, 2010, 12(3): 82-86.









II-Farm Buildings and Construction