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Reduced heat tolerance in fast-growing broilers

  • A. Cahaner (a1) and N. Deeb (a1)

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Broiler breeders conduct their breeding programs only in optimal environments, claiming that because farmers are instructed to provide the broilers with optimal management, genotype by environment interactions (GxE) are not important for the broiler industry. However, with the rapid development of the poultry industry worldwide, high-performance broiler stocks are now being imported to developing countries where environmental control, mainly the mitigation of hot climates, is not feasible. Moreover, results from several studies suggest that due to the increase in genetic potential for rapid growth rate, resulting from successful breeding programs, broilers are becoming more sensitive to rather small environmental deviations from optimal conditions (Leenstra and Cahaner, 1991; Cahaner and Leenstra, 1992; Cahaner et al., 1993; Settar et al., 1999; Yunis et al, 1999). Hence, also in developed countries, many broilers will be, or are already being reared under suboptimal hot environments.

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Cahaner, A., and Leenstra, F., 1992. Effects of high temperature on growth and efficiency of male and female broilers from lines selected for high weight gain, favorable feed conversion, and high or low fat content. Poult. Sci. 71, 12371250.
Cahaner, A., Deeb, N., and Gutman, M., 1993. Effects of the plumage-reducing naked neck (Na) gene on the performance of fast-growing broilers at normal and high ambient temperatures. Poult. Sci. 72, 767775.
Leenstra, F., and Cahaner, A., 1991. Genotype by environment interactions using fast-growing, lean or fat broiler chickens, originating from The Netherlands and Israel, raised at normal or low temperature. Poult. Sci. 70, 20282039.
Settar, P., Yalcin, S., Turkmut, L., Ozkan, S., and Cahaner, A., 1999. Season by genotype interaction related to broiler growth rate and heat tolerance. Poult. Sci. 78 (in press).
Yunis, R., and Cahaner, A., 1999. The effects of naked-neck (Na) and frizzle (F) genes on growth and meat yield of broilers, and their interactions with ambient temperatures and potential growth rate. Poult. Sci. 78 (in press).

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