Scientists have found that feeding broilers antioxidants such as green tea extract (GTE) and vitamin C (VC) can alleviate stress brought on by high temperatures.
Feeding VC from day one appears to alleviate stress more effectively, suggesting that it may be important to determine the appropriate timing of additional functional substances to effectively reduce various stresses that occur in livestock rearing.
The research looked at the stress relieving effects of VC and GTE in high temperature broiler chickens.
A total of 880 1-day-old birds were used with the following treatments:
The heat stress environment was provided for 2 weeks from day 22 and was set at 33+/- 1C, 55+/10% for 24 hours. Feed and water were provided ad libitum and broiler production was similar for all treatments.
The results found that in chicken meat quality, the addition of VC and GTE had an effect on meat colour and pH (P<0.05). GTE had a positive effect on the antioxidant capacity and quality preservation of breast meat (P<0.05). GTE1 significantly lowered the level of total cholesterol, and VC1 affected AST and IgM (P<0.05).
The study, led by Son Jiseon, of the Korean Poultry Research Institute, found that the VC1 group had a positive effect on the maintenance and development of intestinal morphology, a lower rectal temperature and showed to relieve stress.
It suggests that it is important to determine the appropriate timing of the addition of functional substances to effectively reduce various stresses that occur in livestock farming.
The research was published in the Journal of Animal Science – A comparative study on feeding timing and additive types of broilers in a high-temperature environment – PubMed