The Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine


The objective of this experiment was to compare the rice hull and pumice litter when used as bedding in a broiler chicken house. Seven hundred and fourteen 1-day-old, broiler chicks were divided equally into 2 groups. Group 1 raised on rice hulls and group 2 on pumice litter. Each group had 3 replicates, 119 birds in each. The average body weight gain and the feed intake during days 1-42 were observed in order to calculate the feed conversion rate (FCR). At 16, 28, and 42 days, 10 birds from each replicate were bled for their antibody titer responses to Newcastle disease vaccine, infectious bronchitis disease vaccine, and infectious bursal disease vaccine. At 42 days of age, 2 birds were randomly necropsied for histopathology and quantitative analysis of various heavy metals: lead, cadmium, arsenic, and manganese. The results showed that the FCR of birds raised on rice hull and pumice litters was 1.84 and 1.87 respectively and no significant difference was observed (p>0.05). The antibody titer responses of birds raised on pumice litter were much better when compared with birds raised on rice hull litter. The results of histopathology and quantitative analysis of various heavy metals showed no differences between rice hull and pumice litters.



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