Effect of transportation and shackling on plasma concentrations of corticosterone and heterophil to lymphocyte ratios in market weight male turkeys in a commercial operation
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There is limited information on the effects of stress and/or physiological manipulation on either plasma concentrations of corticosterone (CORT) and/or heterophil: lymphocyte (H : L) ratios in turkeys. The present studies examine the effects of catching/transportation/lairage in a holding shed and shackling on plasma concentrations of CORT and H : L ratios in male market weight turkeys. Plasma concentrations of CORT were increased after transportation and lairage but not further elevated by shackling, irrespective of its duration up to 240 s. In one study, there were increased H : L ratios following catching/placing birds into transportation cages/transportation/lairage. In one study, H : L ratios declined following shackling. It is concluded that while moving turkeys from the farm to immediately before the shackling line is stressful, shackling for up to 4 min was not perceived as more stressful in turkeys. There were also differences between farms/houses for both plasma concentrations of CORT and H : L ratios.
author list (cited authors)
Scanes, C. G., Hurst, K., Thaxton, Y., Archer, G. S., & Johnson, A.