Poultry science

Effects of canthaxanthin on the productive and reproductive performance of broiler breeders.

PMID 22334741


The effects of supplementing canthaxanthin on productive and reproductive aspects of broiler breeders were examined in this study. In total, 360 female pullets and 36 roosters were placed in an open-sided house with 12 pens, each pen with an area of 7.0 m(2) (3.5 × 2.0 m). At 42 wk of age, the breeder hens and roosters were distributed into 2 experimental groups with similar BW and uniformity. From 46 to 66 wk of age, one group received 6 mg/kg of canthaxanthin supplemented in the diet and the other group received the diet without the addition of canthaxanthin (control diet). Body weight was measured every 28 d, the laying rate was calculated weekly, and mortality was evaluated at the end of the study. Twenty-one weekly incubations were performed to evaluate fertility and incubation responses. To evaluate the antioxidant effect of canthaxanthin at different storage times and during the incubation process, eggs from each treatment were subject to thiobarbituric reactive substances analysis. Body weight, mortality, and laying rate were not affected by the inclusion of canthaxanthin in the breeder's diets. An increase in hatchability of total and fertile eggs (P ≤ 0.0001 and P ≤ 0.0003, respectively) in breeders fed canthaxanthin during the experimental period was observed. Canthaxanthin also improved breeder fertility and reduced embryo mortality. This can be attributed to reductions in embryo mortality in the first 48 h of incubation and in the last wk of incubation. No differences were observed in BW and quality of the chicks. A reduction of thiobarbituric reactive substances was observed in yolks from stored hatching eggs produced by breeders fed diets plus canthaxanthin. The same effect was observed in yolks of eggs stored for 4 d and incubated for 7 d. The supplementation of broiler breeder diets with canthaxanthin improved the hatchability rate, fertility, and reduced the presence of thiobarbituric reactive substances in eggs.

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Canthaxanthin (trans), analytical standard