1. An optimum of environmental temperature is to be expected for the utilization of food energy in warm blooded animals if their food intake is determined by their appetite.
2. Baby chicks were kept in groups of five chicks in a climatic cabinet at environmental temperatures of 21°, 27°, 32°, 38°, and 40°C. during the period of 6 to 15 days of age. The intake of qualitatively complete food was determined by their appetite. Food intake, excretion, and respiratory exchange were measured. Control chicks from the same hatch as the experimental groups were raised in a brooder and were given the same food as the experimental chicks. The basal metabolism of each experimental group was determined from 24 to 36 hours without food at the age of 16 days.
3. The daily rate of growth increased with decreasing environmental temperature from 2.74 gm. at 40°C. to 4.88 gm. at 21°C. This was 4.2 to 6.5 per cent of their body weight.
4. The amount of food consumed increased in proportion to the decrease in temperature.
5. The availability of the food, used for birds instead of the digestibility and defined as
See PDF for Structure
showed an optimum at 38°C.
6. The CO2 production increased from 2.95 liters CO2 per day per chick at 40°C. to 6.25 liters at 21°C. Per unit of the 3/4 power of the body weight, 23.0 liters CO2 per kilo3/4 was produced at 40°C. and 43.4 liters per kilo3/4 at 21°C. The CO2 production per unit of 3/4 power of the weight increased at an average rate of approximately 1 per cent per day increase in age. The R.Q. was, on the average, 1.04 during the day and 0.92 during the night.
7. The net energy is calculated on the basis of C and N balances. A maximum of 11.8 Cal. net energy per chick per day was found at 32°C. At 21°C. only 6.9 Cal. net per day per chick was produced and at 40°C. an average of 6.7 Cal.
8. The composition of the gained body substance changed according to the environmental temperature. The protein stored per gram increase in body weight varied from 0.217 to 0.266 gm. protein and seemed unrelated to the temperature. The amount of fat per gram gain in weight dropped from a maximum of 0.153 gm. at 32°C. to 0.012 gm. at 21°C. and an average of 0.107 gm. at 40°C. The energy content per gram of gain in weight had its maximum of 2.95 Cal. per gm. at 38°C. and its minimum of 1.41 Cal. per gm. at 21°C. at which temperature the largest amount of water (0.763 gm. per gm. increase in body weight) was stored.
9. The basal metabolism increased from an average of 60 Cal. per kilo3/4 at an environmental temperature of 40°C. to 128 Cal. per kilo3/4 at 21°C. No indication of a critical temperature was found.
10. The partial efficiency, i.e. the increase in net energy per unit of the corresponding increase in food energy, seemed dependent on the environmental temperature, reaching a maximum of 72 per cent of the available energy at 38°C. and decreasing to 57 per cent at 21°C. and to an average of 60 per cent at 40°C.
11. The total efficiency, i.e. the total net energy produced per unit of food energy taken in, was maximum (34 per cent of the available energy) at 32°C., dropped to 16 per cent at 21°C., and to an average of 29 per cent at 40°C.