This experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of supplementation of vitamins C or E in the diet on performance, carcass characteristics and hematological parameters of broilers kept under high environmental temperature. Four hundred and fifty broilers were distributed in a completely randomized design with five treatments and nine replications, with 10 and 7 birds per experimental unit, respectively, according to the periods from 1 to 21 and 22 to 42 days old. Treatments consisted of a basal diet (RB) without supplementation of vitamins C and E; RB + 300 ppm of vitamin E; RB + 230 ppm of vitamin C; RB + 300 ppm of vitamin E + 230 of vitamin C, and RB + 150 ppm of vitamin E + 115 of vitamin C. Treatments did not influence performance of birds in the phase of 1 to 21 days of age. At 1 to 42 days of age, supplementation of vitamins C and E only influenced feed conversion. The best results for the absolute and relative weights of breast were observed in birds fed the basal diet supplemented with different combinations of vitamins C and E. Plasma concentration of triiodothyronine, percentage of blood cells, the heterophil/lymphocyte ratio and absolute and relative weights of the spleen at 21 and 42 days of age were not influenced by vitamin supplementation. Supplementation of vitamins C and/or E did not influence performance, weight of the spleen or blood parameters of chickens maintained until 42 days of age in a high temperature environment. The combination of vitamins C and E promotes improvement in absolute and relative weights of breast of broilers reared under high temperature
Key Words: carcass, heat stress, hematological parameters, performance.
Abstract published in Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia. vol.40 no.10 Viçosa out. 2011. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982011001000019.