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Effect of Natural Vitamin C on Performance and Certain Haemato-Biochemical Values in Broiler Chickens Exposed to Heat Stress.

Byline: Alaeldein M. Abudabos, Abdullah N. Al-Owaimer, Elsayed O.S. Hussein and Mutahar H. Ali

ABSTRACT

During hot climates, the supplementation of extra electrolytes or vitamins such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to the drinking water or feed of poultry has become a common practice. Broilers are more susceptible to heat stress as compared to other animals. The current experiment was conducted to examine the effect of commercial vitamin C supplement (VC100, 200 mg/kg), on performance of broilers. Two levels of environmental temperatures: normal (22AdegC) and high (32AdegC) and two levels of vitamin C in drinking water (with and without) were arranged in a factorial arrangement resulted in four dietary treatments for the period from 15 to 30 days of age. Results revealed a significant two way interaction for body weight gain (BW) and feed intake (FI) (P<0.01) for the first week of the trial (15-22 day). The effect of treatment in the second week (23-30 day) was less pronounced and treatment had no effect on performance.

Cumulative performance results for the period (15-30 day) showed that feed intake was affected by temperature (P<0.05). It can be concluded that natural vitamin C 100 has no a major impact on cumulative performance or plasma mineral status.

Key words

Ascorbic acid, Blood hemato-biochemical parameters, Broilers, Performance, Heat stress.

Introduction

Heat stress is one of the most important factors harmfully affecting overall poultry production (Khan et al., 2011, 2014). High temperature and humidity exert severe stress on birds leading to reduced performance (Khan et al., 2012; Chand et al., 2014). Broiler performs well within a fairly wide range of temperatures (18 and 22AdegC). However, this wide range thermoneutral temperature is not ideal for the ideal feed efficiency. For example, Kampen (1984) reported that the maximum growth rate of broilers occurs in the range of 10-22Adeg C while the ideal feed efficiency occurs at 27AdegC. Charles (2002) on the other hand, reported a lower range of temperature for optimum performance in broilers (18-22AdegC). At temperatures above 30AdegC, broilers reduce feed intake and as a result gain less per unit of feed (Chand et al., 2016). It is generally agreed that heat stress in broilers reduces feed intake, body weight, immune status and increase mortality (Chand et al., 2017).

Poultry are renal synthesizers of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) (Maurice et al., 2002) and diets are not normally fortified; hence, no recommended requirement is established by the NRC (1994). The endogenous production of vitamin C synthesis is usually considered not sufficient for the biological demands in poultry, especially during the severe environmental conditions (Pardue and Thaxton, 1986). It was concluded that during certain conditions, vitamin C supplementation provides benefit to poultry (Pardue and Thaxton, 1986). Significant improvements in growth of chicks were reported when vitamin C was supplemented for stressed birds. Heat-stressed broilers fed vitamin C supplemented diets consumed more feed, were less stressed, and had reduced body temperature and respiratory rates than control birds (Kassim and Norziha, 1995).

Accordingly, the objective of the present study was to evaluated the efficacy of natural vitamin C, a naturally occuring vitamin C, on broiler performance and blood hematoogy under moderate heat stress for the period from 15 to 30 days of age.

Materials and methods

The current study was approved by the ethical committee on right and welfare of animal, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.

The current study was conducted by utilizing 144 15-days old unsexed Ross 308 broiler chicks obtained from a commercial hatchery. Chicks were allotted to 24 cages in a 4 deck cage system to construct 6 replicates per treatment and received control diet (Table I). The basal feed contained 3000 kcal/kg metabilizable energy and 18.5% crude protein. Each cage had breadth of 3000 cm2 (50 cm length, 60 cm width and 36 cm depth). Broilers were randomly assigned to 4 treatments in 2x2 factorial arrangements: T1, control; T2, birds were subjected to heat stress at 32AdegC; T3, water was supplemented with 200 mg VC-100/L; and T4, water was supplemented with 200 mg VC-100/L + birds were subjected to heat stress at 32AdegC. The vitamin C used in this trial is a natural product derived from Amla which is obtained from the plant Emblica officinalis.

The chicks were provided feed and water ad libitum, while light schedule was maintained for 24 h. Chicks were reared in standard brooders and vaccinated against Marek's disease, Newcastle and Infectious Bronchitis. All birds were provided a diet based on corn and soybean in mash form (Table I).

During the finisher period (23-30 days), body weight (BW) and feed intake (FI) were recorded weekly for each pen, and feed conversion ratio (FCR) was determined from the given data of FI and BW. Mortality was recoded if occured (Abudabos et al., 2017).

On day 30, blood samples were collected from three birds from each treatment with or without EDTA. Blood samples with EDTA were analyzed for white blood cell counts (WBC), total red blood cell counts (RBC), hemoglobin content (Hb), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), standard deviation in red cell distribution width (RDW-SD), platelet count (PLT), mean platelet volume (MPV), coefficient variation of red cell distribution width (RDW-CV), platelet distribution width (PDW) hematocrit (HCT) and plateletcrit (PCT). Serum was separated by centrifuging plain tubes at 5AdegC and 3000 rpm for 10 min. Thereafter, sera were transferred into eppendorf tubes and stored at -20AdegC until further analysis. Serum sodium, chloride, magnesium, total calcium and phosphorus were determined using commercial kits (M di Europa GmbH Wittekamp 30. D-30163 Hannover, Germany).

Table I.- Feed composition.

Ingredients###%

Yellow corn###61.94

Soybean meal###31.00

Palm oil###3.00

Dicalcium phosphate###2.20

Ground limestone###0.61

Choline chloride###0.10

DL-methionine###0.20

L-lysine###0.15

Salt###0.30

Vitamin-mineral premix1###0.50

Calculated analysis

ME, kcal/kg###3000

Crude protein, %###18.5

Non phytate P, %###0.40

Calcium, %###1.00

Lysine, %###1.00

Methionine, %###0.45

Table II.- Body weight, feed intake and feed conversion ratio of broiler chickens given experimental treatments for two weeks.

Experimental###Parameters###Vitamin C (0 mg/L)###Vitamin C (200 mg/L)###SEM###Statistical probabilities

period###22AdegC###32AdegC###22AdegC###32AdegC###Temp.###Vit. C###Temp. x Vit. C

Vitamin C for###Body weight (g)###445.2###400.4###426.9###453.2###11.9###NS###NS###**

one week

###Feed intake (g)###617.9###565.3###582.7###613.8###12.4###NS###NS###**

(15-22 days)

###FCR###1.389###1.415###1.367###1.356###0.02###NS###NS###NS

Vitamin C for###Body weight (g)###558.1###544.4###569.2###532.5###15.0###NS###NS###NS

second week

###Feed intake (g)###878.9###860.7###882.0###825.4###15.7###NS###NS###NS

(23-30 days)

###FCR###1.575###1.585###1.553###1.554###0.031###NS###NS###NS

Table III.- Cumulative performance of broiler chickens given experimental treatments from 15 to 30 days.

Parameters###Vitamin C (0 mg/L)###Vitamin C (200 mg/L)###SEM###Statistical probabilities

###22AdegC###32AdegC###22AdegC###32AdegC###Temp.###Vit. C###Temp. x Vit. C

Body weight (g)###1003.3###944.7###996.1###985.6###20.6###NS###NS###NS

Feed intake (g)###1496.9###1425.9###1464.7###1439.2###21.9###*###NS###NS

FCR###1.49###1.51###1.47###1.46###0.02###NS###NS###NS

Statistical analysis

All statistical analysis was performed using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS, 2009) for randomized complete block design with 2 x 2 factorial arrangements of treatments, in which each treatment was assigned to 6 replicate pens. The data were tested for main effects of vitamin C, temperature (temp.) and for interaction effect for vitamin C x Temp. Statistical significance was assessed at (P<0.05).

Results

Growth performance, feed intake and feed conversion results for the periods (15-22 d) and (23 to 30 d) are shown in Table II. For the first week (15-22 d), a two way interaction was significant for BW and FI (P<0.01). When the temperature increased from 22 to 32AdegC, the gain decreased when no vitamin C was supplemented into drinking water from 445.2 to 400.4 g. However, BW increased when vitamin C was supplemented at the rate of 200 mg/l at the high temperature (32AdegC). In the absence of vitamin C supplementation at 22AdegC, birds consumed more feed as compared to birds which had been subjected to 32AdegC (617.9 vs. 563.3 g, respectively). In the contrary, when vitamin C was supplemented to the water, birds which were subjected to the high temperature (32AdegC), consumed more feed. The interaction of temperature and vitamin was significant (P0.05). For the second week (23-30 d), treatments had no effect on BW or FC; however, FI was affected by temperature. Birds on the high temperature (32AdegC) decreased their feed intake by 37 g as compared to the other group (P<0.05).

Cumulative performance results for the period (15-30 d) are shown in Table III. Neither temperature nor vitamin C had an effect on BW or FC; however, FI was affected by temperature (P<0.05). Birds on the high temperature (32AdegC) decreased their feed intake by 50 g as compared to the normal temperature group (P<0.05).

Table IV.- Effect of different treatments on blood of broilers at 30 day of age.

###Treatment

###T1###T2###T3###T4###SEM###P

Hematology

WBC (x103/uL)###116.2 119.0 111.3 110.0 +-3.9###NS

RBC (x106//uL)###3.5###3.5###3.8###3.9###+-0.4###NS

Hb (%)###36.1###32.8###34.1###36.1###+-1.4###NS

MCV (fL)###103.9 114.9 114.9 115.0 +-3.6###NS

MCH (pg)###116.6 93.3###88.9###93.9###+-14.7 NS

MCHC###117.0 81.2###77.4###81.7###+-19.0 NS

(gHb/100 ml)

RDW-CV (%)###10.7###9.4###9.9###10.1###+-0.4###NS

RDW-CD (fL)###44.0###43.3###45.7###49.7###+-1.2###NS

HCT (%)###36.8###40.3###43.9###44.2###+-4.7###NS

PLT (x103/uL)###130.3 72.7###105.0 98.7###+-34.8 NS

MPV (fL)###11.8###10.9###11.8###11.6###+-0.3###NS

PDW###16.1###11.5###13.6###14.1###+-1.4###NS

PCT (%)###0.15###0.08###0.12###0.11###+-0.04 NS

Mineral concentration

Na (mmol/l)###13.7###10.0###7.7###8.7###+-3.2###NS

Cl (mmol/l)###100.7 99.0###97.3###95.0###+-2.1###NS

Mg (mmol/l)###2.3###2.4###2.6###2.3###+-0.1###NS

Ca (mg/dl)###9.1###10.5###9.3###9.7###+-1.1###NS

P (mg/dl)###11.4###9.3###10.4###10.4###+-0.9###NS

Table IV shows the effect of treatment on some hematological and biochemical parameters of broiler blood profile. The values of the blood hematological parameters measured in this trial were comparable and treatment had no effect on blood hematological values. However, serum mineral concentrations were affected by temperature. In this trial, lower Na, Cl and P levels were found in plasma at high temperature group as compared to normal temperature group (8.5 vs. 14.3 mmol/l Na; 95.0 vs. 99.0 mmol/l Cl; and 9.5 vs. 11.3 mg/dl P, respectively).

Discussion

Heat stress depresses feed intake and growth performance in broiler. Reduction in feed intake decreases linearly with increasing temperature. Reduction in feed intake is the first response of the heat stress in broiler. Reduction in feed consumption is proportional to low consumption of ascorbic acid. Supplementation of ascorbic acid ameliorates the feed intake and growth rate during high ambient temperature. The increased production in the presence of ascorbic acid during heat stress may be due to high oxygen consumption, thyroid activities and feed intake (Khan et al., 2012).

At higher environmental temperatures and during heat stress, birds start to pant as a mean of reducing body temperature. Khattak et al. (2012) demonstrated that panting leads to disturbances in acid base balance of the bird. The reduction in circulating mineral levels under heat stress has been reported by various researchers. For example, Belay et al. (1993) reported poor absorption of Ca, K, and P in turkeys which were subjected to heat stress. Others, showed poor retention and increased excretion of minerals such as Na, K, Ca, Cu and P and in heat stressed chickens (Belay et al., 1992).

Conclusion

It can be concluded that negative effects on the broiler performance specially feed intake was associated with higher ambient temperatures. The natural vitamin C improved feed intake and weight gain during the first week but not during the second week.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for its funding of this research through the Research Group Project No. RGP-267.

Statement of conflict of interest

Authors have no potential conflict of interest.

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Author:Abudabos, Alaeldein M.; Al-Owaimer, Abdullah N.; Hussein, Elsayed O.S.; Ali, Mutahar H.
Publication:Pakistan Journal of Zoology
Article Type:Report
Date:Jun 30, 2018
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