Infectious bursal disease, vitamin E, lipid peroxidation, Feed intake
The effects of dietary supplementation of vitamin E on feed intake and serum lipid peroxidation formation were examined in 200 light breed cockerels infected with infectious bursal disease (IBD) virus. The birds were reared from day-old in deep litter, and were divided into 8 groups of 25 birds each by day 21. Half of each group was fed either basal (10 IU/kg) or high (supplemented) (210 IU/kg) level of vitamin E – containing chick mash. All the birds were vaccinated against Newcastle disease. By day 35, half of each group was vaccinated against IBD using a local IBD vaccine, while the other half was untreated. At day 42, half of each group was challenged with a virulent field strain of IBD virus (experimental groups) while the other half was left unchallenged (control groups). Malondialdehyde level in the serum and feed intake were monitored in all the groups. Serum peroxidation level was significantly lower in birds receiving supplemental vitamin E throughout the experimental period irrespective of vaccination history, while significant differences existed in feed intake among groups only during and after infection periods. Vitamin E supplementation was very efficient in reducing systemic lipid peroxidation, whereas its combination with vaccination led to faster recovery as shown by significant increase in food intake during and after infection periods.