Response of Adult Cockerels to Different Sources of Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
A study was conducted to determine the response of Adult cockerels to three sources of ascorbic acid (AA). The sources of ascorbate (vitamin C) tested were industrial, medical and from natural (baobab pulp) in a completely randomized design. Weekly feed intake, feed:gain and weight gain were affected (P<0.05) by the different sources of vitamin C. Birds fed diet containing medical source of ascorbic acid had the highest (P<0.05) weekly feed intake and weight gain of 593 and 121g/bird/week respectively. Birds fed baobab source of AA had the lowest weekly feed intake and weight gain of 392 and 98g/bird/week respectively. Mortality, nutrient retention (protein and fat), haematology and relative weight of organs and primal cuts were not significantly different (P>0.05) for the various treatments studied. Plasma vitamin C level varied significantly (P<0.05) among the different birds fed the treatments. The highest (18g/100ml) and lowest (6.16g/100ml) values were recorded for birds fed medical vitamin C and control diets respectively. Vitamin C determined for baobab pulp was 250mg vitamin C/100g baobab pulp. Overall, ascorbate was important for broiler production and especially in on-farm conditions in rural tropical environments, baobab’s availability may be readily exploited.
Keywords: Vitamin C, Ascorbic acid, Adult cockerels