Acta Vet. Brno 2010, 79: 41-46

Transport-induced Changes in Selected Biochemical Indices in Broilers as Affected by Ambient Temperatures

Petra Vošmerová1, Iveta Bedáňová1, Petr Chloupek1, Jan Chloupek2, Pavel Suchý, Jr.2, Vladimír Večerek1

1Department of Veterinary Public Health and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology,
2Department of Nutrition, Livestock Breeding and Animal Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology,

Received October 7, 2009
Accepted May 13, 2010

The effects of transportation to the slaughterhouse (catching, crating, loading, transport) at various ambient temperatures on selected biochemical indices were monitored in a group of unsexed ROSS 308 broiler chickens aged 42 days. The broilers were sampled at three different sampling times (prior to loading, after loading, and after 70 km transport) at three different ambient temperatures (-5 to +5 °C, 10 to 20 °C, 25 to 35 °C). Corticosterone contents in broilers after loading and after transport were significantly higher (P < 0.01) than before loading. The highest corticosterone concentration was found in broilers that were handled (loaded and transported) at lower temperatures (-5 °C to +5 °C) and this value was significantly (P < 0.01) lower than in broilers handled under both other monitored temperature ranges. The results of this study prove that the stress-inducing procedure to which commercial broilers are exposed in connection with transport to the slaughterhouse induces strong changes in selected biochemical indices, and that these changes are highest in winter months at a lower ambient temperature.