Histological and biochemical evaluation of supplementing broiler diet with β-hydroxy-methyl butyrate calcium (β-HMB-Ca)

Document Type: Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of Animal Production, College of Agriculture, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq

2 Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq


Two hundred and sixteen day-old Ross-308 broiler chicks were allocated into 4 groups to study the impacts of different concentrations (0.0, 0.1, 0.15 and 0.2%) of β-hydroxy-methyl butyrate calcium (β-HMB-Ca), on values of tri-iodothyronin (T3) and tetra-iodothyronin (T4) hormones, liver enzymes [aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT)], uric acid, peroxide, malondialdihyde (MDA), fatty acids and some histological parameters of small intestine (thickness of mucosa, height of villi, thickness of villi, depth of epithelial crypts and epithelial height). The biochemical results did not show any significant effect on T3 and T4 hormones and ALT while there was significant (P<0.01) decrease of AST in groups 2 and 3 and significant (P<0.05) decrease in uric acid in groups 2, 3 and 4 in comparison to control. In the liver, peroxide value (PV) and free fatty acids (FFA) were significantly (P<0.05 and P<0.01 respectively) decreased in groups 2 and 3 compared to control. The histological changes indicate significant values (P<0.05) in all parameters of duodenum in group 2 and 3, while those parameters of jejunum showed significant values (P<0.05) in most parameters of groups 2 and 4. In conclusion, the addition of β-HMB-Ca to the broiler diet from age 1 to 35 days has improved the levels of liver function enzymes and uric acid in the serum and lowered the parameters of oxidation in the liver with improved the maturity, performance and secretory activities of the small intestine in broiler chickens.


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