Journal article

Dietary Betaine Reduces the Negative Effects of Cyclic Heat Exposure on Growth Performance, Blood Gas Status and Meat Quality in Broiler Chickens

Majid Shakeri, Jeremy J Cottrell, Stuart Wilkinson, Hieu H Le, Hafiz AR Suleria, Robyn D Warner, Frank R Dunshea

Agriculture | MDPI | Published : 2020

Abstract

Heat stress (HS) impairs growth performance and has a severe impact on lipid and protein metabolism, leading to serious adverse effects on meat quality. Forty-eight day-old-male Ross-308 chicks were assigned to two temperature conditions, thermoneutral or cyclical HS, and fed with either a control diet (CON) or the CON plus betaine (BET). Heat stress increased rectal temperature (p < 0.001), respiration rate (p < 0.001) and increased blood pH (p = 0.017), indicating that HS caused respiratory alkalosis. Heat stress reduced body weight during the final stage of growing period (p = 0.005), while BET improved it (p = 0.023). Heat stress tended to reduce breast muscle water content and drip loss..

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