Effects of genetic group × ambient temperature interactions on performance and physiological responses of Naked-neck chickens and their F1 crosses with Lohmann White and New Hampshire laying hens
A. Melesse 1  
,   S. Maak 2,   G. von Lengerken 3
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Hawassa University, Department of Animal and Range Sciences, P.O. Box 05, Hawassa, Ethiopia
Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Research Unit Muscle Biology and Growth, Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2, D-18196 Dummerstorf, Germany
Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Institute of Animal and Nutritional Sciences, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 11, D-06120 Halle (Saale), German
A. Melesse   

Hawassa University, Department of Animal and Range Sciences, P.O. Box 05, Hawassa, Ethiopia
Publication date: 2011-12-06
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2011;20(4):599–612
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of genotype x temperature interactions on hormonal heat stress indicators and performance traits. Two-hundred forty female one-day-old chicks were randomly assigned to a completely randomized design in a 5×2 factorial arrangement with 5 genotypes (Naked-neck, Na, from Ethiopia; New Hampshire, NH; Lohmann White, LW and F1 crosses of Na with NH and LW) and 2 ambient temperatures (thermo-neutral, 18-20oC; heat stress, 30-32oC). Blood samples were taken from 12 randomly selected birds per genotype and ambient temperature at 22, 38, 51 and 65 weeks of age. Levels of corticosterone (CS) and 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3) were determined in blood plasma. Heat stress effects on egg production traits were most severe in LW and NH, least severe in Na and Na × LW, intermediate in Na × NH. Plasma T3 level was significantly reduced by 27.9% in heat stressed genotypes. Plasma CS increased by 12.6% in heat exposed genotypes. However, inconsistent responses of CS and T3 levels were observed at different ages. The Na and their F1 crosses demonstrated relatively better thermo-tolerance than LW and NH hens. Levels of plasma T3 hormone might be considered as indicator of long-term heat stress in hens.
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