Iyasere, O. S., Bateson, M., Beard, A. P. et al. 2021. Provision of additional cup drinkers mildly alleviated moderate heat stress conditions in broiler chickens. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 24(2), 188-199.
Sixty-four broilers of a commercial strain in a 2 × 2 factorial design with two environmental conditions: normal (N; 20°C, 50% RH) or MHS (30°C, 70% RH for 6 h/day for 3 consecutive days), and two drinker treatments; standard (B; a bell drinker/pen) or additional (A; as B + two cup drinkers). Each treatment had 16 birds with half of them implanted with temperature-ID chips to estimate the change in core body temperature (ΔCBT). Comb (CT) and feet (FT) temperatures were measured with atemperature probe, behavior was recorded with digital cameras, daily weight gain, feed intakes and litter moisture content (LMC) were also monitored. Data were subjected to General Linear Model (GLM) analysis. MHS broilers had greater ΔCBT, CT, and FT and more time spent panting and drinking compared to N broilers. Provision of additional cup drinkers reduced ΔCBT but enhanced heat loss from the comb and feet. At 6HS, MHS birds showed a tendency to spend more time drinking from the cup drinkers compared to N birds without compromising LMC. MHS suppressed feed intake and not weight gain.