TROPICAL ANIMAL HEALTH AND PRODUCTION, vol.53, no.5, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of cyclic or chronic heat stress (HS) on the incidence and severity of white striping (WS) and histopathological changes in breast muscle of broiler chickens. One hundred eighty 1-day-old male chickens were randomly assigned to three research groups: control (standard temperature throughout the experiment), cyclic HS (32 degrees C between 0800 and 2000 h from day 21 until the end of the experiment), and chronic HS (32 degrees C from day 21 onwards). Cyclic and chronic HS groups showed a significant (P < 0.05) decrease in body weight gain and feed intake and poor feed conversion ratio in grower, finisher, and overall period. Serum biochemical profile was not different among the groups except globulin and P which were significantly higher (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively), in cyclic and chronic HS groups. Overall, WS incidence was numerically higher in control birds followed by chronic HS and cyclic HS birds, respectively. The chronic HS group had a lower incidence of mild (score 1) and a higher incidence of severe (score 2) WS lesions compared to control and cyclic HS groups. Histopathological analysis revealed that broilers subjected to chronic HS showed increased severity of myodegenerative changes, perivenular CD3 + cell infiltration, and lipidosis compared to control group. However, control and cyclic HS groups were not different in terms of histopathological lesions. In conclusion, this study confirms that cyclic or chronic HS may adversely affect the growth performance and that chronic HS may increase the severity of WS in broiler chickens.