Effect of supplementing drinking water with ammonium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, calcium chloride and ascorbic acid on haematology and selected serum indices of broiler chicks reared during high temperature and humified period was evaluated. A total of 200 one-day old Arbor acre broiler chicken strain was randomly allotted to five treatments: T1 (control-water without any supplement), T2 (0.5% ammonium chloride), T3 (0.5% sodium bicarbonate), T4 (0.5% calcium chloride), T5 (300 ppm ascorbic acid) in a completely randomized design. The packed cell volume, haemoglobin and albumin values obtained at day 28 and 49 varied significantly (p<0.05) between treatments with consistently higher (p<0.05) values for birds on T5. The serum total proteins at day 28 and alanine amino transferase at day 49 were also significantly different (p<0.05) among treatments. Glucose values (g/dl) of groups at day 28 were not significantly (p>0.05) different, while glucose levels of control group was significantly (p<0.05) higher than those on T3 at day 49. Ascorbic acid supplementation enhanced the haematological profile of birds while supplemental electrolytes ameliorated heat stress with more profound effects on serum indices of birds on sodium bicarbonate.
Key words: Heat stress, ascorbic acid, haematological indices, serum metabolites, electrolytes, tropic environment.
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