HomePhilippine Journal of Veterinary and Animal Sciencesvol. 38 no. 2 (2012)

Effect of Stress on the Production Performance, Hematology and Gastrointestinal Enzymes in Broilers

Rekha P. Raghavan | Sreekumar K. Panicker | Beena Vakayil

Discipline: Veterinary Medicine, Animal Science



The study evaluated the effect of overcrowding stress on production parameters, hematology, organs and gastrointestinal enzymes activity in broiler chicken. Twenty day-old broiler chicks were divided into two groups: unstressed group and stressed group, with 10 birds in each group. Stress was induced by reducing the floor space of each bird by 1/3 of the optimum requirement (1116 cm2/ bird) at 30 days of age and the birds were subjected to stress for 15 days, until 45 days of age. Overcrowding stress lowered the erythrocyte and leukocyte counts but enhanced the heterophil to lymphocyte ratio. The reduction in bursal weight and hypertrophy of adrenals adversely affected the immune status and hematology of stressed birds. Even though only pancreatic lipase expressed lowered activity, the overall results indicated that overcrowding stress could culminate in poor digestion in broilers. The economics revealed that there is a net revenue loss to the farmers due to overcrowding.