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Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
Year: 2013  |  Volume: 12  |  Issue: 24  |  Page No.: 1690 - 1699

Effects of Dietary Vitamin C on Growth Performance, Meat Quality, Immune Function and Anti-Oxidative Capacity of Broilers

Z.Y. Niu, Y.N. Min, X.H. Wang, F.X. Wei, P.X. Jiao and F.Z. Liu    

Abstract: This study was intended to assess effects of dietary vitamin C supplementation on growth performance, meat quality, immune function as well as anti-oxidative capacity of broilers. A total of 240, 1 day old Avian broiler chicks divided randomly into three treatments, each of which was composed of eight replicates with ten birds and birds fed a corn-soybean meal basal diet supplemented with 0, 150, 300 mg kg-1 vitamin C, respectively. Results showed that dietary vitamin C addition could significantly increased average daily weight gain and feed intake of the broilers (p<0.05) but did not have significant effects on their feed to gain ratio; compared with the control treatment, dietary vitamin C addition at 300 mg kg-1 could significantly increased the pectoral muscle percentages, abdominal fat percentages and liver weight ratio of broilers (p<0.05). Dietary vitamin C additions could significantly increase pectoral muscle b* and leg muscle L* of the broilers and that significantly improved the water holding capacity and tenderness of their leg muscles (p<0.05). The thymus index, bursa of Fabricius index, Newcastle disease antibody level of broilers were much higher where vitamin C was added at 300 mg kg-1 than in the control treatment indicating that immunity of broilers got effectively improved (p<0.05). Dietary vitamin C addition at 300 mg kg-1 significantly increased the vitamin C content in blood serum and pectoral muscles (p<0.05), also superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities and total anti-oxidative capacity in blood serum significantly increased (p<0.05), so that dietary vitamin C addition was helpful to eliminating free radicals and raising anti-oxidative capacities of broilers. Dietary vitamin C addition at 300 mg kg-1 significantly slowed down lipid per-oxidation and color variation of pectoral muscles while the muscles were refrigerated at 4°C, so that it took effect along with anti-oxidative enzymes to inhibit oxidation-caused meat quality deterioration, stabilize meat colors and prolong meat shelf life. Results of the present study indicated that dietary vitamin C addition at 150 mg kg-1 performed better in improving growth performances and immune functions of broilers and dietary vitamin C addition at 300 mg kg-1 performed better in improving body and muscle anti-oxidative capacity, reducing lipid per-oxidation in meat storage and prolonging meat shelf life.

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