Robustness to chronic heat stress in laying hens: a meta-analysis

S. Mignon-Grasteau, U. Moreri, A. Narcy, X. Rousseau, T.B. Rodenburg, M. Tixier-Boichard, T. Zerjal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic heat is a major stress factor in laying hens and many studies on the effect of heat stress have been published. It remains difficult, however, to draw general conclusions about the effect of chronic heat stress on performance and its relationship with genetic and environmental factors, as these studies have been done under varying experimental conditions and using various experimental designs. A meta-analysis enabled us to make a quantitative review of the results from 131 published papers. The relative effects of four factors (genotype, age, group size, and amplitude of temperature variation) and their interactions with temperature were analyzed for 13 traits. After pre-correcting the data for a random study effect, the best model for each trait was selected in a stepwise procedure based on its residual sum of squares. Shell strength, daily feed intake, egg mass, and hen-day egg production were found to be more sensitive to heat stress than the other traits as they dropped by 9.0 to 22.6% between thermo-neutrality (15 to 20°C) and heat stress (30 to 35°C) while yolk and albumen proportions or Haugh units showed nearly no variation with temperature (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-600
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • high ambient-temperatures
  • egg quality
  • naked neck
  • vitamin-c
  • performance
  • dwarf
  • gene
  • supplementation
  • management
  • nutrition

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