Abstract

Supplementary antioxidant is often used to alleviate heat stress ( HS ). However, its efficiency will be affected by the decreased feed intake. Therefore, supplementary antioxidants by drinking method may be better than feeding as water consumption will increase unlike feed intake decrease under HS. This study confirmed the mitigating effect of drinking electrolyzed reduced hydrogen-rich water ( ERW ) on long-term (42 d) chronic HS of layers. A total of 120, twenty-seven-wk-old white Leghorn layers were randomly used in 4 treatment groups: drinking ERW under high temperature (34°C) (HT+ERW); drinking tap water ( TW ) under high temperature (34°C) (HT+TW), drinking ERW under normal temperature (24°C) (NT+ERW) and drinking tap water under normal temperature (24°C) (NT+TW). The results showed that almost all of the production performance, egg quality parameters, mucous membrane shape of the intestinal tract, plasma enzyme activities, and antioxidant enzyme activities were significantly affected by the high temperature. However, relatively to TW treatment, drinking with ERW can improve the villus length and villus length/crypt depth of jejunum and antioxidant activity ( P < 0.05), while decrease malondialdehyde ( P < 0.05), and consequently significantly improve the production performance (egg production and feed conversation ratio, P < 0.05) and egg quality (egg thickness) of layers under chronic HS. Our study indicates that drinking with ERW is a potential method for layers to alleviate heat stress.

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