Main content area

Which source and level of dietary sodium is appropriate for broiler chickens reared in a high‐altitude area?

Taheri, Hamid Reza, Nasiri, Hadi, Ahmadkhani, Rasoul
Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition 2019 v.103 no.4 pp. 1090-1098
altitude, ascites, blood serum, broiler chickens, calcium, diet, feed conversion, feed intake, growth performance, heart, males, mortality, phosphorus, rearing, sodium, sodium bicarbonate, tibia
This study investigated effect of increasing level of dietary sodium using sodium bicarbonate or sodium chloride on growth performance, mortality, characteristics of carcass, organs and tibia, calcium and phosphorus of serum in broilers reared in a high‐altitude area (1,700 m above sea level). A total of 588 Ross 308 male broiler chicks were used in seven treatments, six replicates per treatment of 14 birds per each from 1 to 38 d of age. Seven dietary treatments consisted of a basal diet (with 0.16% sodium and 0.23% chloride), top‐dressed for six diets to give three supplementary levels of sodium (0.07%, 0.14% and 0.21%) from sodium bicarbonate (respectively by 0.26%, 0.52% and 0.78%) or sodium chloride (respectively by 0.18%, 0.36% and 0.54%), resulting in seven diets with total sodium and chloride levels of 0.16% and 0.23%, 0.23% and 0.23%, 0.30% and 0.23%, 0.37% and 0.23%, 0.23% and 0.33%, 0.30% and 0.44%, 0.37% and 0.55% respectively. Increasing sodium level improved feed conversion ratio (FCR) linearly and quadratically. However, when FCR was calculated without adjusting for feed intake of mortalities, the enhanced sodium level did not improve this parameter. Increasing sodium level via sodium chloride enhanced ascites mortality, total mortality, relative weight of heart and right ventricle linearly. Increasing sodium level reduced serum calcium and enhanced serum phosphorus linearly; however, there was a linear tendency to increase tibia ash when sodium level was enhanced by sodium bicarbonate (p = 0.08) or sodium chloride (p = 0.07). Increasing sodium level via sodium bicarbonate tended (p = 0.08) to reduce tibia strength linearly. In conclusion, a diet with 0.16% sodium and 0.23% chloride is enough for broiler chicken reared in a high‐altitude area, and increasing dietary sodium level via sodium chloride has detrimental effect on survivability of broiler in such condition.