Effects of synthetic and herbal vitamin C supplementation in heat stressed laying hens
S.S. NAGRA, YASHPAL SINGH AND P.N. DIWVEDI
Department of Livestock Production and Management/ Vety. Microbiology
Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana - 141 004
An experiment was conducted on 54 WLH hens, housed in cages to study the efficacy of synthetic coated (SC) and herbal (HC) vitamin C supplementations in alleviating the heat stress related negative effects on their production performance, egg quality and immune competence. The hens were divided into three groups of 18 each and one group each was put on standard layer feed either un-supplemented (T 0) or supplemented @ 100 g per ton feed with herbal vitamin C (T 1) and coated synthetic vitamin C (T 2). The performance data were recorded for 75 days during July to September period. Egg quality parameters were recorded 60 days after the start of experiment. Antibody titer against NCD was measured in all the treatments at the end of experiment. The hen-day egg production was slightly more in T 1 and T 2 groups but the difference was non-significant with T 0. The average egg weight and daily egg mass was significantly (P<0.05) more in T 1 and T 2, further T 1 had significantly higher average egg weight and daily egg mass than T 2. The FCR was slightly better in the T 1. The differences in feed intake per bird per day, FCR, shell thickness and specific gravity were non-significant. The albumin index was significantly (P<0.05) higher in T 1 and T 2. The antibody titer against NCD was lowest in T 0 followed respectively by T 2 and T 1. It was concluded that both HC and SC supplementations improved the egg size, albumin index and immune competence in heat stressed layers. The response with herbal vitamin-C was better than coated synthetic ascorbic acid.