Egbuniwe, I. C., Ayo, J. O., Kawu, M. U., & Mohammed, A. (2018). Behavioral and hematological responses of broiler chickens administered with betaine and ascorbic acid during hot-dry season. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 1-13.
Heat stress is a major problem in poultry production in tropical regions. Assessing the impact of thermally stressful environmental conditions on the welfare of broiler chickens is of great importance. Behavioral responses in a novel environment and hematology of broiler chickens administered with betaine and/or ascorbic acid (AA) during the hot-dry season were evaluated. Broiler chickens were randomly divided into four groups: Group I (control) was given sterile water, Group II was given betaine, Group III was given AA, and Group IV received betaine + AA orally and daily for 42 days. An open-field test was used to assess behavior. Hematological parameters were obtained using a hematology auto-analyzer. The natural environmental conditions were predominantly outside the thermoneutral zone for broiler chickens. Results demonstrated that treated groups exhibited improved ability to adjust faster to a new environment and better hematological responses than controls, evidenced by enhanced behavioral responses, oxygen-carrying capacity, and immune responses of broiler chickens under unfavorable environmental conditions. Betaine and/or AA administration to broiler chickens improved some behavioral responses, hemoglobin concentrations, packed cell volume, and total leukocyte count during the hot-dry season.
Note: To read JAAWS articles, you must either get a subscription to JAAWS, which ASI scholar members get a discount to, or you can access it through a university account, or by purchasing the individual article from the publisher. Per our agreement with the publisher, once the article is three years old we will be able to add it to our archive of journal articles that is available to Scholar, Student, and Professional members. These archives contain the entire body of articles (minus the past three years) for both of the journals we edit, Society & Animals and Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.