Effects of heat stress on some blood parameters and egg production of Shika Brown layer chickens transported by road
The effects of vitamins C and E on layer chickens transported by road for 6 h during the hot dry season were investigated. Two experimental groups consisting of thirty Shika Brown layers were separately administered vitamins C and E orally just before transportation, while another 30 layers, which were only given sterile water, served as control. Blood samples analyzed before and after transportation in the control layers showed a decrease (p<0.05) in total white blood cell, (p<0.01) lymphocyte and monocyte values, and a signifcant (p<0.05) and (p<0.001) increase in the values of eosinophils and heterophils post-transportation, respectively. In the experimental groups, post-transportation values of total white blood cells, eosinophils and monocytes were not different (p>0.05) from those obtained before transportation. Heterophil/lymphocyte values were highest in the control group. The result showed that transportation was stressful for the control layers. Post-transportation egg production was not signifcantly (p>0.05) different in the vitamin E treated group, but values recorded for the vitamin C and control groups were signifcantly (p<0.05) and (p<0.001) reduced compared to pre-transportation. In conclusion, vitamins C and E administration ameliorated the adverse effect of road transportation stress during the hot dry season.