Influence of Betaine Hydrochloride on Glucocorticoid-induced Stressed Broiler Chickens

Ademu L. A. *

Department of Animal Production and Health, Federal University Wukari, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aim: To investigate the ameliorative effect of betaine HCl fed to broiler chickens under chronic stress conditions.

Study Design:  Completely Randomized Design.

Place and Duration of Study: Experimental site: Department of Animal Science Teaching and Research Farm, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria; Haematology Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria, between September 2016 and October 2016.

Methodology: A total of two-hundred-and-forty (240) day-old Arbor acre broiler chickens were randomly allotted to four experimental treatments. Each treatment was replicated three times with twenty birds per replicate in a completely randomized design. Dexamethasone was administered in drinking water (0, 1, 2 and 3 mg) to simulate chronic stress. Dexamethasone-treated birds were fed betaine HCl at 0.15% in their diets. Birds receiving 0 mg dexamethasone served as the control.

Results: Thermoregulatory results indicated that respiratory rates were similar (p= 0.16) even with increasing doses of dexamethasone. Rectal temperature was also similar (p=0.97) across all the treatment groups indicating the positive effect of betaine HCl on thermoregulatory responses of broiler chickens. Birds in the control gave better (p < 0.05) final body weight, daily weight gain, daily feed intake, with feed conversion ratio being similar with some dexamethasone containing groups. Dexamethasone did not influence (p >0.05) haematological indices of broiler chickens, with betaine HCl demonstrating positive effect on all blood indices. Both serum and haematological indices were similar (p>0.05) with the control. Thigh and drumstick weights were still negatively affected (p < 0.05) by dexamethasone. Betaine HCl positively (p>0.05) improved robusticity index while tibia weight, length, and weight/length index were negatively (p < 0.05) influenced by dexamethasone despite betaine supplementation.

Conclusion: Betaine HCl improved thermoregulatory and blood indices of dexamethasone-stressed broiler chickens and showed positive effect on tibia bone strength.

Keywords: Stress, dexamethasone, betaine HCL, glucocorticoids, broilers

How to Cite

Ademu L. A. (2024). Influence of Betaine Hydrochloride on Glucocorticoid-induced Stressed Broiler Chickens. Asian Journal of Research in Animal and Veterinary Sciences, 7(2), 99–108.


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