Can Exogenous Betaine Be an Effective Osmolyte in Broiler Chicks under Water Salinity Stress?

  • Honarbakhsh, Shirin (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran) ;
  • Zaghari, Mojtaba (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran) ;
  • Shivazad, Mahmood (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran)
  • Received : 2006.12.29
  • Accepted : 2007.05.21
  • Published : 2007.11.01


A CRD experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of different exogenous betaine levels (0.000, 0.075, 0.150 and 0.225 percent) on 576 one-day-old male broiler chicks (Ross) under water salinity stress. Different levels of water salinity were made by adding 3 levels of NaCl (0, 1,000 and 2,000 mg/L) to drinking water. Feed and water were available ad libitum. Betaine increased body weight, improved feed conversion ratio, and decreased packed cell volume (p<0.05). Water salinity promoted body weight over the whole period, increased feed intake (11 to 21 and 29 to 42-d) and also improved feed conversion ratio in grower and finisher periods (p<0.01). Breast weight, water consumption (28-d and 42-d) and excreta moisture (28-d) were increased by elevating the level of water salinity (p<0.01). Interaction between dietary betaine and water salinity was significant on plasma osmolarity as well as epithelial osmolarity of the duodenum at 28-d. Epithelial osmolarity was decreased from duodenum to ileum. The data imply that betaine is involved in the protection of intestinal epithelia against osmotic disturbance which can be caused by saline water, but further research is needed to investigate the effects of betaine with higher levels of water salinity.


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