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The effects of sodium bicarbonate on broiler performances under heat stress and high humidity conditions

1998, Italy

Subject: study the effects of sodium bicarbonate supplementation on broilers exposed to heat and humidity stress

The aim of the trial was to study the effect of the supplementation of different levels of sodium bicarbonate in the diet for broilers reared in heat and humidity stress conditions.


Conditions of the study: Bicar®Z supplementation of 0.5%


The trial was carried out on male Arbor Acres chicks (1490 day-old) allotted to fifteen groups (96-100 birds each).

Three diets were used during 56 days of trial:

  • Basal diet (T)
  • Basal diet with 0.5% of sodium bicarbonate (B)
  • Basal diet with 0.5% of sodium bicarbonate and 1% of ammonium chloride (C)


During the first 28 days of the trial, the chicks fed on diet B grew faster than those belonging to the T group (32.3 vs 30.6 g/d; P < .01). Also feed efficiency was improved by sodium bicarbonate addition.

Results of the second period of the trial (28-56 days) were similar to those of the previous period.


Conclusions: what can you learn from this study?

During the whole experiment (1-56 days), the addition of 0.5% of sodium bicarbonate to the chicks’ diet improved both growth rate (45.7 vs 43.4 g/d; P < .01) and feed efficiency (2.20 vs 2.27 g/d; P < .05).