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The effects of increasing sodium bicarbonate levels in broiler diets under heat stress conditions

1996, Italy

Subject: assess the effects of sodium bicarbonate on broilers exposed to heat stress

The aim of the trial was to study the effect of the supplementation of different levels of sodium bicarbonate in a commercial feed for broilers reared in heat stress conditions and at high density.


Conditions of the study: increase Bicar®Z supplementation to 0.3%, 0.6% and 0.9%


The trial was carried out on 285 male Cobb 500 chicks (day-old) housed in battery cages over 2 periods:

  • Period 1 (0-20 d): density of 150 cm2/animal
  • Period 2 (20-41 d): density of  380 cm2/animal


At the end of the trial a comparison was made between the two types of feed that were employed both in the first and in the second part of the experiment:

  • control diet (C)
  • three diets with 0.3% (B1), 0.6% (B2) and 0.9% (B3) sodium bicarbonate.


At 41 days of age, the growth rate of the C birds was 3.56% (P < 0.05) lower compared to the growth rate of the chickens that received a diet supplemented with sodium bicarbonate (40.7 vs 42.2 g/d).


Conclusions: what can you learn from this study?

  • A significant (P < 0.05) linear relationship between sodium bicarbonate levels and feed efficiency was observed,
  • Sodium bicarbonate improved feed efficiency (C = 2.02 g/g; B1 = 1.95 g/g; B2 = 1.87 g/g; B3 = 1.81 g/g).