Effects of vitamin C supplementation on performance of broiler chicks during heat stress
S.S. NAGRA, S. SODHI, YASHPAL SINGH AND P.N. DIWVEDI
Department of Livestock Production and Management/Vety. Biochemistry/Vety. Microbiology
Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana-141 004
< Two experiments one each during hot-dry and hot-humid periods were conducted involving 224 and 240 commercial Vencob broiler chicks, respectively, to study the effects of herbal (HC) and coated synthetic (SC) vitamin C supplementations on their growth performance, biochemical parameters and immune response. The birds divided into three treatments with two replicates each were fed maize-soya based standard broiler starter and finisher feeds either without (T 0) or with supplementation @100 g per ton of herbal vitamin C (T 1) and coated synthetic ascorbic acid (T 2) up to 35 days of age. Vitamin C supplementation significantly (P<0.05) increased the body weight gain, improved FCR and lowered the mortality. The erythrocyte lipid peroxidation was lower and plasma and liver ascorbic acid levels as well as antibody titer were higher in T 1 and T 2 than T 0. The dressing percentage was not influenced but the proportion of breasts, thighs and drums were higher in the dressed carcasses of HC and SC supplemented birds. The response of chicks to HC supplementation was better for growth, FCR, lipid peroxidation and NCD titer than SC. It was concluded that vitamin C supplementation to commercial broiler chick ration was beneficial during heat stress period. Herbal C was a better alternate to synthetic vitamin C for economic consideration and higher response.