An experiment was conducted to determine whether differences in the electrocardiograms (EKGs) of broilers reared at simulated high altitude from the day of hatch can be used to predict which birds are developing ascites. In three replicate experiments, conducted with 100 broilers per replicate, birds were reared at a simulated altitude of 3000 meters or at ambient atmospheric pressure. Lead I, II, and III EKGs were obtained from all birds on days 0, 14, 28, and 42. No consistent significant differences were seen on day 0 in the amplitude of the R or S wave or total amplitude of the QRS complex when broilers that developed ascites while being reared at simulated high altitude were compared with unaffected birds reared at simulated high altitude and with birds reared at ambient atmospheric pressure. On days 14 and 28, the average amplitude of the S wave and the total amplitude of the QRS complex were significantly higher in the ascites group than in the two other groups. Packed cell volumes were significantly higher in birds reared at simulated high altitude at all sampling days (days 14, 28, and 42) than in those reared at ambient atmospheric pressure, and they were significantly higher in the ascites group on day 28 than in the two other groups. Birds in the ascites group weighed significantly less than the two other groups by day 14, and this trend persisted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)