VITAMIN E REQUIREMENT OF STARTING BROILER CHICKENS IN NIGERIA
Keywords:Vitamin E, exudative diathesis, broiler starter, humid, tropical environment
Five trials were conducted with a vitamin E free basal ration to establish the requirement of broiler chickens in a humid tropical environment. Results of the first trial showed that dietary 0.1 ppm selenium prevented exudative diathesis in broiler chicks. In the second trial it was established that 12 ppm of dietary dl- &- tocopherol acetate was as effective as 0.1 ppm selenium in preventing exudative diathesis. However a combination of dietary selenium, vitamin E and methionine with the basal ration in the third experiment showed that 12 ppm vitamin E, under the condition, was better than 0.1 ppm selenium. Palm oil replaced lard in ration formulation in the fourth study as the oil is a normal feed ingredient for poultry in Nigeria. The results showed that 12 ppm of Vitamin E was adequate. In the final trial a longer period of study was allowed and BHT was added to the ration. It was then confirmed that dietary levels of vitamin E higher than 12 ppm did not produce better results. It was concluded that starting broiler chickens require 12 ppm of dietary dl - & - tocopherol acetate in Nigeria.