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Effects of functional oils on performance and carcass characteristics of broilers under two different temperature environments.

ABSTRACT

As antioxidants such as some functional oils are good candidates to mitigate heat stress, a commercial blend of functional oils (Essential, Oligo Basics USA LLC, Cary, NC; active ingredients: cashew nut shell oil and castor oil) was used to study the effects of two ambient temperatures (moderate and high) on broiler chicken performance and carcass parameters. A total of 2,240 straight-run one-day-old chickens were sorted by weight, randomized among 28 floor pens with 80 chickens per pen and 7 replicates for each treatment. Birds were assigned to one of 4 dietary treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement with two temperature environments (moderate and high) and without or with Essential supplementation (1.5 kg/ton). Variances for the average temperature, relative humidity, and dew point for the two environments were different (P < 0.001), showing that the high-temperature environment reached higher temperatures and dew points. Essential supplementation increased body weight gain at 42 D of age (2.548 vs. 2.508 kg; P < 0.01) and tended to improve feed conversion (1.621 vs. 1.644; P = 0.09) independent of temperature environment. The high-temperature environment increased mortality (7.5 vs. 12.4%; P = 0.03) and carcass yields (77.5 vs. 76.2%; P < 0.01). Breast yields were affected by an environment by Essential interaction (P < 0.01). Whereas the high-temperature environment decreased breast yield in control birds, it did not decrease breast yield in birds supplemented with Essential. Finally, breast yields were increased by Essential supplementation (23.6 vs. 22.9%; P < 0.01) regardless of the ambient temperature. In conclusion, Essential supplementation improved weight gains and carcass characteristics, and high-temperature environments decreased breast yields when Essential was not supplemented. © 2019 Poultry Science Association Inc.