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To determine the effects of heat stress and drinking water treatments on physical characteristics of skeletal tissue, tibias of cockerels ranging in age from 4 to 11 weeks were tested for breaking strength. Birds were subjected to either a thermoneutral environment (21 ± 2 C) or a hot environment (37 ± 2 C) and supplied with either tap or carbonated drinking water. Breaking strength of tibias was reduced in the hot environment; however, consumption of carbonated drinking water in the hot environment resulted in bone strength comparable with that associated with thermoneutral environment (both types of water). Also, bones from birds of the carbonated water- 37 C treatment group had less phase breaks and tended to separate with a single break. Results indicate that hot environment and carbonated drinking water not only affect the previously reported morphologic and chemical characteristics of developing bone, but also their physical attributes.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research