Response of Broilers to Different Sources of Vitamin C
The response of broilers to different sources of vitamin C was investigated using a completely randomized experimental design. Vitamin C concentration in the baobab pulp was determined to be 250mg/100g baobab pulp. Feed intake, weight gain, feed utilization efficiency and mortality were not different (P<0.05) for the treatments. However, birds fed the diet containing medical source of abscorbate had the highest average feed intake (544g/bird/week) while birds fed the industrial source of vitamin C based diet recorded the highest average final weight gain (23g/bird/week). Protein, fat and crude fibre retentions were not affected (P<0.05) by the source of vitamin C, however, the values of these nutrients retained was high. Protein retention was highest (63.35%) for birds fed diets containing baobab source of vitamin C, while fat retention was highest (78.08%) for birds fed dietary source of vitamin C. Birds fed various sources of supplemental vitamin C differed (P<0.05) in their PCV, WBC, neutrophil and lymphocyte values. Plasma vitamin C was significantly influenced (P<0.05) by source of supplemental ascorbic acid. Birds fed diet containing medical source of vitamin C recorded the highest Plasma vitamin C (10.81mg/100ml) while birds fed the control diet had the lowest value (2.24mg/100ml). Implication is that vitamin C supplementation in broiler diets may enhance its availability over time. Dressing percentage and primal cuts were similar (P<0.05) for the different treatments. There was significant difference (P<0.05) in the values obtained for spleen, gizzard and bursa of fabricius among the treatments.
JARD Vol. 2 2003: pp. 7-13