Heat stress is associated with compromised performance and productivity in poultry due to declines in feed intake, nutrient utilisation, growth rate, egg production and quality, feed efficiency and immunity.
Additionally, heat stress is characterised by reduced antioxidant status in birds, resulting in increased oxidative stress. Heat stress is also linked with increased economic losses due to mortality of birds.
Vitamin E is a major chain-breaking antioxidant in biological systems. An optimum response with supplementation of vitamin E in feed has been found to improve feed intake, body weight gain, feed efficiency, egg production and quality, nutrient digestibility, immune response and antioxidant status in poultry birds. This work compiles past and present information about the role of vitamin E in heat-stressed poultry.
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