Stress is an animal response caused during the adaptation to different adverse factors. It has been described as an effect of extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, high stocking density, lack of feed, inadequate management, noise, etc.
Therefore, once the birds are exposed to one of the mentioned stress situations, it results in immunological or metabolic consequences such as:
- Regression of immune protective organs
- Reduction of the oxidative metabolic capacity of mitochondria
- Deficit of antioxidant reserves and
- Changes in the activity of antioxidant enzymes
Some of the effects the birds have shown are related to decreased body weight, high susceptibility to diseases, high feed conversion ratio, infertility, immune suppression, and finally, death when the animals are exposed to constant stress.
Thus, it is necessary to have easy-to-assay markers of physiological stress in broilers that allow for quick detection of this condition and optimize production efficiency.