Dietary vasodilator and vitamin C/L-arginine/choline blend improve broiler feed efficiency during finishing and reduce woody breast severity at 6 and 7 wks

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Meyer, M. M.
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Elsevier Inc.
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Animal Science
Woody breast has become a considerable economic concern to the poultry industry. This myopathy presents rigid, pale breasts characterized by replacement of lean muscle protein with connective tissue, a result of hypoxia and oxidative stress in a metabolically starved muscle with inadequate circulation. Hence, the objectives were to supplement broiler diets with ingredients specifically aimed to improve circulation and oxidative status. About 1,344 male Ross 708 broilers were assigned to 1 of 4 diets: 1) a basal diet (control), 2) basal diet plus a blend of 0.2% supplemental L-arginine, 0.17% choline bitartrate, and 0.03% vitamin C (blend), 3) 0.1% vasodilator ingredient (vasodilator), or 4) 0.02% Astaxanthin ingredient (AsX). At d 14, 28, 42, and 49, performance outcomes were collected on all birds and serum from 16 broilers/diet (n = 64) was analyzed for creatine kinase and myoglobin. Once weekly beginning on d 28, a subset of 192 broilers were measured for breast width. On d 42 and 49, breast fillets from 16 broilers/diet (n = 64) were palpated for woody breast severity, weighed, and analyzed for compression force at 1-day postmortem and water-holding capacity at 2-day postmortem. mRNA was isolated from 15 breast fillets/timepoint for qPCR quantification of myogenic gene expression. Data were analyzed using Proc Mixed (SAS Version 9.4) with the fixed effect of diet. Feed conversion ratio was improved in the blend and vasodilator-fed birds d 42 to 49, each by over 2 points (P < 0.05). Breast width was increased in the control on d 42 compared to the vasodilator and AsX-fed broilers (P < 0.05). At d 42, there were 12% greater normal fillets in blend diet-fed birds and 13% more normal scores in vasodilator-fed birds at d 49 compared to the control. At d 49, myogenin expression was upregulated in the AsX diet compared to blend and control diets (P < 0.05), and muscle regulatory factor-4 expression was increased by 6.5% in the vasodilator diet compared to the blend and AsX diets (P < 0.05). Blend and vasodilator diets simultaneously improved feed efficiency in birds approaching market weight while reducing woody breast severity.
This article is published as Meyer, M. M., and E. A. Bobeck. "Dietary vasodilator and vitamin C/L-arginine/choline blend improve broiler feed efficiency during finishing and reduce woody breast severity at 6 and 7 wks." Poultry Science 102, no. 2 (2023): 102421. DOI: 10.1016/j.psj.2022.102421. Copyright 2022 The Authors. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Posted with permission.
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