Influences of wet feeding and supplementation with ascorbic acid on performance and carcass composition of broiler chicks exposed to a high ambient temperature

H R Kutlu
Archiv Für Tierernährung 2001, 54 (2): 127-39
In two experiments was investigated whether feeding with an air-dry feed mixed with different amounts of water and/or supplemental ascorbic acid affect performance and carcass compositions of broilers exposed to a high ambient temperature (35 to 37 degrees C for 8 h/d and thermoneutral for 16 h/d). In the first trial, 64 one-week-old male broiler chicks were fed ad libitum in four dietary treatment groups for a 6-week period. Experimental mash diets were prepared by mixing a maize-soybean based standard broiler starter or finisher with tap water in the ratios of 0.0:1.0, 0.5:1.0, 1.0:1.0 and 1.5:1.0 (water:air-dry feed, w/w). More water in the diet increased BWG, DMI, abdominal fat and carcass weight, carcass CP, crude fat, but it deteriorated DM conversion efficiency. In the second experiment, 64 one-week-old male broiler chicks were given air-dry or wet (water:feed, 1.5:1) starter or finisher diets without or with ascorbic acid supplementation (0 and 250 mg/kg air-dry feed, resp.) ad libitum for a 6-week period. Ascorbic acid supplementation increased BWG, carcass weight and carcass CP significantly, while reducing carcass crude fat content. However, feeding broilers with a diet mixed with water in a ratio of 1.5:1.0 increased BWG, DMI, carcass weight and carcass lipid markedly, but deteriorated DM conversion efficiency. There was also a significant interaction between ascorbic acid and wet feeding, whereby ascorbic acid supplementation induced a significant reduction in carcass lipid contents of broilers fed on air-dry diets but not on wet diets. It is concluded that wet feeding, especially an addition of 150% water to produce a porridge like consistency, improved growth performance by increasing fat, ash and protein deposition in the body, while reducing DM conversion efficiency. It is also concluded that under heat stress supplemental ascorbic acid in air-dry diets stimulates broiler performance but not in wet diets.

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