Effect of dietary vitamin C supplement on reproductive performance of aviary pheasants

https://doi.org/10.17221/4150-CJASCitation:Nowaczewski S., Kontecka H. (2005): Effect of dietary vitamin C supplement on reproductive performance of aviary pheasants. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 50: 208-212.
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The effects of three doses of vitamin C (100, 200 and 300 mg/kg) added to the feed of reproductive pheasants on egg production, egg fertility and parameters of hatchability were investigated. In experiments I (1999) and II (2000) birds were kept in outdoor aviaries. In 2000, air temperatures recorded on the farm during the experiment were high (25–30oC), differing considerably from those recorded in the preceding years. In experiment I no statistically significant differences were shown between the control pheasants and those supplemented with 100 and 200 mg/kg vitamin C in terms of egg production, egg fertility and parameters of hatchability. The poorest results were found in the group of birds receiving a feed supplemented with 300 mg/kg vitamin C. In experiment II, statistically higher egg production and egg fertility were noted, compared to the control group, in the groups supplemented with 100 and 200 mg/kg vitamin C. Compared to the control group, pheasants from these groups were also characterized by higher hatchability from set eggs (by approx. 15 percentage units) and fertilized eggs (by approx. 9 percentage units) and smaller number of unhatched chicks and dead embryos after day 10 of incubation. In experiment II, the beneficial effect of 100 and 200 mg supplements of vitamin C on the studied parameters could result from the soothing action of the vitamin on the effects of heat stress. The present results justify the prophylactic use of vitamin C supplement at 100 mg/kg feed in the nutrition of reproductive pheasants reared in aviaries. Under heat stress (high air temperatures) increasing the dose of this vitamin to 200 mg/kg feed seems beneficial.    
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