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Effect of Stocking Density and Dietary Sulfur Amino Acids on Welfare Indices of Broiler Chicks

M. Toghyani 1, S. Heidari 2, and A. Emadinia 2
1. Department of Animal Science, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran
2. Young Researchers Club and Elite, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran
Abstract—Stocking density is a key point in broiler welfare and cost of production. This experiment was carried out to investigate effect of three stocking density (12, 16 and 18 birds per m2) and two levels of sulfur amino acids (S-AA) (100 and 120% requirement) on welfare indices (gait score, breast burn, hock burn, footpad dermatitis, feathering score and tonic immobility) of 390 day-old chickens. Most favorable gait score, footpad dermatitis, hock burn and breast burn obtained using 12 chickens per m2 at 35 and 42d. Increasing levels of S-AA significantly decreased footpad dermatitis, hock burn and breast burn (P<0.05). Tonic immobility also increased remarkably with increasing of stocking density and 120% S-AA decreased tonic immobility times (P<0.05). Chickens had more feather coverage in 120% S-AA and in density of 12 chickens (P<0.05). In conclusion, lower stocking densities and higher level of sulfur amino acids improved welfare indices of broiler chicks. 
 
Index Terms—broiler chickens, stocking density, sulfur amino acid, welfare

Cite: M. Toghyani, S. Heidari, and A. Emadinia, "Effect of Stocking Density and Dietary Sulfur Amino Acids on Welfare Indices of Broiler Chicks," Journal of Advanced Agricultural Technologies, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 124-127, June 2016. Doi: 10.18178/joaat.3.2.124-127
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