The Effects of Chicken Box, Chick Paper Type and Flock Age on Sound Level and Leg Abnormalities in One-Day Old Chicks in the Hatchery
Abstract: Chicken box and chick paper are two important factors affecting quality of delivered chicks after hatching and packaging until arrival in rearing farms. In this study, characteristics of 70 samples of chicken boxes collected during two years in four hatcheries in Iran were surveyed. Winter and summer types of chicken boxes each with seven replicates including five chicken boxes were studied. The capacity, length, width, height, weight, area, total ventilation ducts of the boxes in summer and winter cartons were 80 and 100 birds, 59.50 and 59.27 cm, 43.44 and 43.25 cm, 13.20 and 12.04 cm, 387 and 382.3 g, 0.685 and 0.664 m2, 204.16 171.28 cm2, respectively. Allowance space per chicken in chicken box in winter and summer was 1.71 and 2.43 cm2, respectively. The duration of chickens stay at chicken box in summer and winter was 12 and 7.57 hours, respectively.
Significant difference between the height of box, capacity, duration of stay at chicken box, space per chick (P<0.0001), total ventilation ducts (pores area) for air exchange (P<0.05) and width of chicken box (P<0.014) was observed in winter and summer boxes. Effects of chick paper type (rough and smooth) used in chicken box floor on the sound level was significant (80.50 and 76.55 dB for rough and smooth type, respectively; P<0.009). Effect of flock age on chick weight and sound level was significant (P<0.001). Sound level in chickens with 26 and 86 weeks of age was 76.10 and 80.95 dB, respectively. Effects of chick paper type on leg damages, total defects in motor organs of chickens and chicken leg stuck under the box divider was significant (P<0.001). Effects of chick paper type on spraddled (sprawled) leg and redness of feet skin or toe were not significant.
Keywords: Chicken box, Chick paper, One-day old chicks, Sound level, Leg damage.
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