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Effects Of Vitamin E And Vitamin A Supplementation On Performance, Thyroid Status And Serum Concentrations Of Some Metabolites And Minerals In Broilers Reared Under Heat Stress (32 Degrees C)

N. Sahin, K. Sahin, O. Küçük

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An experiment on Cobb-500 male broilers was conducted to evaluate the effects of vitamin E (alfa-tocopherol-acetate), vitamin A (retinol), and their combination on broiler performance and serum concentrations of triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), adrenocorticotropine hormone (ACTH) and some metabolite and mineral concentrations in broilers reared under heat stress (32°C). One day-old 120 broilers were randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups, 3 replications of 10 birds each. The birds were fed either a control diet or a control diet supplemented with either vitamin A (15 000 IU retinol/kg diet), vitamin E (250 mg alfa-tocopherol-acetate/kg diet), or a combination of vitamin A and E (15 000 IU retinol plus 250 mg of alfa-tocopherol-acetate/kg diet). Considered separately or as a combination, supplemental vitamin A and vitamin E increased feed intake (P = 0.01) and live weight gain (P = 0.03). However, feed efficiency remained similar in all treatments (P= 0.18). Serum T3 and T4 concentrations were also higher (P ≤ 0.001) with vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin A plus vitamin E groups than those of the control. However, ACTH concentration in serum was lower (P ≤ 0.001) in supplemental dietary vitamin groups compared with control. Serum glucose, uric acid, triglyceride, and cholesterol concentrations decreased (P ≤ 0.001) while protein and albumin concentrations increased (P ≤ 0.001) when both dietary vitamin E and vitamin A were supplemented. Serum activities of serum glutamic oxalate transaminase (SGOT) and serum glutamic pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) were not influenced by dietary vitamin E, vitamin A nor by a combination of vitamin A and vitamin E (P > 0.72). However, serum activity of alkaline phosphatase (AP) increased (P ≤ 0.001) with supplemental dietary vitamin E, vitamin A, or a combination of vitamin A and vitamin E. In addition, supplemental dietary vitamin E and vitamin A resulted in an increase in serum concentrations of both Ca and P (P ≤ 0.001). In general, when a significant effect was found for a parameter, the magnitude of responses to vitamin supplements was greatest with the combination of vitamin A and vitamin E, rather than that of each vitamin supplement separately. The results of the present study show that supplementing a combination of dietary vitamin E and vitamin A offers a good management practice to reduce heat stress-related decreases in broiler performance.