A study was conducted to assess the effects of varying storage temperature and relative humidity (RH) conditions, and feed preservatives (a mixture of Mold-Zap (a fungal inhibitor) and Banox E (an antioxidant)) on performance, visceral organ weight, serum biochemistry and haematology of broiler chickens. Birds fed diets stored at low RH (50%) were heavier and had a better feed conversion efficiency (FCE) than those on diets stored at high RH (80%). Diet storage temperature had no significant effect on body weight of birds but FCE was improved when birds were maintained on diets stored at a low temperature (15 °C). Feed intake was unaffected by the main factors but the interactive effect of temperature x preservative influenced intake. Liver weight was lowest in birds that consumed feeds stored at a low temperature and low RH. The presence of a detoxifier (MTB 100) in the diet reduced the heart weight of birds by 11%. Diets stored at the low temperature or RH significantly decreased the weight of the gizzard in birds. Inclusion of the preservative in the diets also reduced gizzard weight by 4%. Similarly, gizzard weight was reduced by about 6% due to the presence of the detoxifier in the diets stored at low temperature. Inclusion of the detoxifier in the diet reduced spleen weight and the inorganic phosphorus concentration in serum. Further studies are required to test a wider range of storage conditions as well as the potential of some of the additives used in the present trial.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher