EFFECTS OF FEEDING STRATEGIES AND SUPPLEMENTAL LIPOTROPIC FACTORS ON GROWTH PERFORMANCE, ASCITES-RELATED INDICES, SERUM METABOLITES AND MEAT QUALITY IN BROILER CHICKENS REARED AT HIGH ALTITUDE
V. Rezaeipour1*, F. Aghayar1, A. Bozorgnia1, M. Norozi2 and H. Zakaria3
1Department of Animal Science, Qaemshahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qaemshahr, Iran
2Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Animal Science and Fisheries, Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Sari, Iran; 3Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jordan
*Corresponding author e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of feeding programs in combination with supplemental lipotropic agents on performance, ascites-related indices, blood metabolites and breast meat quality in broiler chickens reared at high altitude (2,200 m above sea). A total of 450 day-old Ross broiler chickens were randomly assigned to 6 treatments with 5 pens of 15 birds per each. The experiment was carried out in a completely randomized design with 2 × 3 factorial arrangement, including two feeding program (ad libitum or early feed restriction) and three status of lipotropic supplementations (a control diet, 150 mg/kg carnitine as L-carnitine, and 1,000 mg/kg choline as choline chloride). The results showed that dietary supplementation with carnitine improved body weight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR) in broilers (P≤ 0.05). The relative weight of the heart was lower in broilers fed choline supplemented diet compared with control group (P≤ 0.05). Feeding broiler chickens with carnitine increased the serum concentration of glucose (P≤ 0.05). However, supplementation of the diet with carnitine reduced serum concentration of triglycerides (P≤0.05). Supplemental carnitine reduced the susceptibility of the meat (thiobarbituric acid number) to lipid peroxidation (P≤ 0.05). The ascites-related indices, including the weight of right ventricle (RV) and the ratio of right-to-total ventricular weight were lower in broilers which received carnitine and choline supplementation which reared under early feed restriction (P≤ 0.05). In conclusion, supplemental carnitine improved growth performance, ascites-related indices and meat quality of broilers. Besides, early feed restriction improved ascites-related indices in broiler chickens reared at high altitude.
Keywords: altitude; broilers; ascites; lipotropic agents; liver health.