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Research: Feed additives and ascites in broilers

Researchers at the Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran, Iran investigated the control of ascites mortality and improved performance and meat shelf-life in broilers using feed adjuncts with presumed antioxidant activity.

For this trial 400 1-d old male broilers were assigned to five experimental groups, including:
1 – Control,
2 – Vitamin E (100 mg/kg),
3 – Aspirin (2000 mg/kg),
4 – Synthetic antioxidant (125 mg/kg, Loxidan TD 30),
5 – Pomegranate peel (15,000 mg/kg).
Ascites was induced by providing broilers water containing 0.15 g/L NaCl from 6 to 12 d. Blood samples were drawn from 12 birds per experimental group at the end of experiment (42 d).
Malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration in meat samples was determined. Erythrocyte osmotic fragility (EOF) was determined in whole blood as a criterion of erythrocyte membrane fluidity.
Right ventricular weight ratio (RV/TV) was determined in all birds.
Supplementation of diets by antioxidant feed additives reduced the experimental induced ascites mortality in comparison to control group.
 The antioxidants were able to reduce the MDA occurrence in meat of birds compared with control, where the pomegranate peel treatment being the most effective. Erythrocyte osmotic fragility was reduced in aspirin fed birds.
Supplementation of antioxidants improved RV/TV of broilers in comparison to controls with Loxidan TD 30 being the most effective group.
The results of the present study emphasized the efficacy of antioxidants’ role in reduction of ascites incidence as a consequence of oxygen reactive substances’ scavenging activity.
 In addition, these nutritional interventions also extended meat shelf-life.

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