Thermotolerance of Broiler Chicks Ingesting Dietary Betaine and/or Creatine.Animals (Basel) 2019; 9(10)A
The present study aimed to assess the effect of dietary betaine (B) and/or creatine (C) on performance and thermoregulatory responses of broiler chicks. Indian River broiler chicks, fitted with compact thermosensors, were reared to market age (five weeks). The chicks were randomly distributed into four treatment groups, in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments-basal control diet (Control group: CONT; B-/C-); 1 g betaine/kg feed (Betaine group: BETA; B+/C-), 1.2 g creatine monohydrate/kg feed (Creatine group: CRET; B-/C+), and combination (Betaine and Creatine group: COMB; B+/C+) of both supplements. At 31 days of age, 20 chicks from each group were exposed to acute heat stress (A-HS) for 3 h (34.45 ± 0.20 °C), and hemogramic profiles were screened before and after. Performance parameters (feed intake, body weight gain, and feed conversion ratio) were reported on a weekly basis, and carcass meat quality was evaluated at the end of experiment. Redness of breast was higher due to B and C treatments separately than the CONT group (B by C interaction; p < 0.05). Compared to the CONT, dietary supplements alleviated hyperthermia responses, with B alone being more efficient than C or COMB treatments. The mitigation of hyperthermia is likely mediated by enhancement of water balance indicators. Although not efficient in improving growth performance, dietary B and/or C are efficient in improving thermophysiological performance and survival of finishing broiler chicks under A-HS.