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The prophylactic effect of vitamin C supplementation on broiler ascites incidence and plasma thyroid hormone concentration

Hassanzadeh Ladmakhi, M., Buys, N., Dewil, E., Rahimi, G., Decuypere, E.
Avian pathology 1997 v.26 no.1 pp. 33-44
broiler chickens, ascorbic acid, vitamin supplements, chemoprevention, ascites, triiodothyronine, thyroxine, blood plasma, body weight, feed intake, mortality, animal performance, blood gases, hematocrit
In a two-factorial experiment, 420 1-day-old male commercial broiler chickens were randomly divided and fed a basal diet with or without vitamin C (500 parts/10(6)). Half of the birds within each group receiving the same kind of feed were fed a T3 supplemented diet from day 1, in order to increase the ascites incidence. Weekly body weight and feed intake were measured. Venous blood samples were taken from 10 birds per group weekly from day 14 on, for haematocrit measurements, blood gas analysis, measurement of thyroid hormones and lactate/pyruvate ratios. Ascites mortality was recorded daily. Dietary T3 significantly increased ascites mortality. Adding vitamin C to the feed significantly reduced ascites mortality while it had no effect on performance parameters. Plasma thyroid hormone levels were significantly reduced by dietary vitamin C administration, but neither haematocrit nor blood gas levels were influenced.