Effects of synthetic and herbal vitamin C supplementation in laying hen diet during heat stress under field conditions
PREET MOHINDER SINGH, S.S. NAGRA AND YASHPAL SINGH
Department of Livestock Production and Management
Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana - 141 004
An experiment involving 1488, BV-300 WLH laying hens of seven months age was conducted under field conditions to study the effectiveness of synthetic (SC) and herbal (HC) vitamin C supplementation on their production performance and immune response during hot-humid (July-September) period. The birds housed in three hen cage compartments were divided into three groups of 496 numbers each. One group each was put on commercially supplied layer feed without any supplementation (T 0) or supplemented @100 g per ton with herbal vitamin C (T 1) or coated synthetic vitamin C (T 2). The production performance and egg quality parameters were recorded for 60 days. Antibody titer against NCD was measured towards the end of experiment. Both synthetic and herbal vitamin-C supplementation significantly (P<0.05) increased the egg weight and daily egg mass. The egg production was higher in the T 2 group only. No significant effect of SC and HC supplementation was observed on feed consumed per hen per day and specific gravity of egg but the feed consumed per kg egg was significantly (P<0.05) more in T 0. The T 1 hens had significantly more average egg weight, daily egg mass and shell thickness but significantly lower feed consumption per kg egg than T 2. The antibody titer against NCD was highest in T 1 followed by T 2 and T 0, respectively. It was concluded that both HC and SC supplementation reduced the heat stress related negative effects on the production performance and improved the immune competence of laying hens.