The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether two-week-old rapidly growing broiler chickens with high metabolic activity have an increased risk of the development of heart failure three to five weeks later. The incidence of cardiac arrhythmias was assessed in broiler chickens with either a relatively high carbon dioxide tension (PCO2) or a low PCO2 in their venous blood. Their electrocardiograms (ECGS) were measured when the birds were between five and seven weeks old by means of a biotransplant which allowed them to move freely. Premature ventricular beats were observed in all the birds, but the largest numbers were observed in birds that had had a high PCO2 when they were two weeks old.
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