Effect of chronic heat stress on performance and oxidative damage in different strains of chickens

Kalam M.A. Azad, Motoi Kikusato, Azharul M. Hoque, Masaaki Toyomizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Heat stress (HS) causes poor growth, immunosupression and high mortality, through physiological dysfunction. We have reported that 'acute' HS increases mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative damage in the skeletal muscle of broiler chickens (Cobb), but that this is not for the case for males of the laying-type white leghorn (WLH) strain of chickens (Mujahid et al., 2005b). We have now studied the effects of 'chronic' HS on performance and oxidative damage to skeletal muscle in different strains of chickens. Meat-type male chickens (Ross and Cobb) and male laying-type chickens (WLH) of 14d of age were arranged according to a factorial design (3 strains×4 conditions): control (24°C), cyclic (32-24-32°C: 32°C for 8h/d, 32-24-32HS), constant (32 and 34°C, 32HS and 34HS, respectively) for 14d. Feed consumption and body weight gain were measured. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) content in skeletal muscle was measured colorimetrically with BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and expressed as malondialdehyde (MDA) equivalent. Body weight gain and feed consumption for the 3 strains (Ross, Cobb and WLH) were decreased by 32HS and 34HS, but not by 32-24-32HS. The decrease in weight gain of WLH chickens for the 32HS and 34HS conditions was smaller than for broiler chickens (Ross and Cobb). The 32HS and 34HS groups showed slightly enhanced MDA levels (P<0.05) in the skeletal muscle of all 3 strains, but not for the 32-24-32HS group. The results suggest that depression in growth performance due to chronic heat stress is more evident in meat-type chickens (Ross and Cobb) than male laying-type chickens (WLH), and that reduction in the performance are associated with enhancement of oxidative damage to skeletal muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-337
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Poultry Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Chicken strains
  • Chronic heat stress
  • Oxidative damage
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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