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April 13, 2020 | by Sam Shafer
Researchers from Spain and the Netherlands performed a study to determine if adding a mineral and vitamin mix (AHS and Vitamin C) would have an effect on broiler performance in heat-stressed conditions.
1,824 one-day-old birds were randomly allocated to 48 identical pens of 38 birds each. All birds were equally fed a 3-phase feeding program. There was no variation in feed throughout this study.
The control group(s) were given drinking water with no added product. The second group(s) were given treatments of AHS1 or AHS2 (1 or 2 Kg of AHS/1000 L of drinking water). The final group(s) were given a Vitamin Mix (8.9% Vitamin C; 3% magnesium acetate; 37.5% potassium chloride; 49.5% sodium bicarbonate) at 200 g per 1000 L of drinking water.
Heat-stressed conditions were simulated from 8:00 to 13:00 each day after the first 3 days where there was no heat stress and 24 hours of light. Feed intake (ADFI) was increased for Vit C pens (the third groups) in phase 2 (days 11-25) and phase 3 (days 26-36) when compared to the controls. Higher doses of AHS increased ADFI linearly, so the AHS2 groups also had an increase in ADFI but was equal to the Vit C groups at the end of the study.
The findings of this study were published in the March 2020 issue of The Journal of Applied Poultry Research (Vol. 29, Issue 1). Results of this study revealed that after 10 days there were no differences in bodyweight (BW) among the groups. However, after day 25, BW increased with the highest supplementation of AHS. This trend continued at day 36. Average daily gain (ADG) increased linearly in the last phase of the study in groups with AHS2. ADG increased further with higher doses of AHS. Water intake was not measured per pen, however, corticosterone concentration in blood serum decreased significantly in all water treatments tested.
For the poultry industry, the findings of this study highlight that a combination water treatment of electrolytes and Vitamin C for drinking water in broiler chickens can improve growth performance relative to dose. Higher doses produced better results in a heat-stressed environment. Both the mineral and Vitamin C mix as well as Vitamin C alone added to drinking water reduced corticosterone levels in blood serum.
Further studies into the proper dosages of each component (both mineral and vitamin mix) used in this study are needed.
The full paper can be found in the February 2020 edition of The Journal of Applied Poultry Research and online here.
Categories: Interpretive Summary