Modern production can create stressful conditions for animals - a stressful situation, which is defined as a scenario in which one or more factors affect the animal, resulting in curtailed metabolism and thus, lower feed conversion rate (FCR) and higher production costs.

An animal's feed intake can also be impacted by diseases, as well as stress caused by the thermal environment which affects animal productivity by impacting heat exchange, food consumption rate, body weight gain and nutritional requirements.

As a result, reduced growth happens as endocrine and metabolic requirements of animals change in response to the thermal environment. T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), which are important growth promoters in chickens, decrease with a higher ambient temperature, while other hormones like corticosterone, increase.

Against these challenges, today's animals are required to possess a high genetic potential in order to achieve the best muscle deposition or (in the case of poultry) egg production.

Thermal stress and vitamins

Research has shown that birds kept under heat need more vitamins and minerals (El Boushy, 1988; Coelho and McNaughton, 1995; Miltenburg, 1999).

High temperatures prompt a change in the requirement for vitamin C by reducing synthesis and impacting its absorption. Supplementing diets with vitamin C can help increase T3 and T4, leading to a higher metabolism and feed intake, and hence, better performance of animals enduring heat stress.

The performance and immunity of birds under heat stress had been proven to significantly improve with increased vitamin C (Pardue and Thaxton, 1984; Pardue et al., 1985), vitamin E (El Boushy, 1988) and pyridoxine (Blalock et al., 1984).

In another study, Rabbit and McNaughton (1995) subjected broilers to different stress conditions associated with various vitamin levels and then rated their productivity. Elements pertaining to environmental conditions included the bed, the density of birds, coccidiosis challenge, peroxided fat, mycotoxin contamination and diet density.

The authors concluded that, in challenging environmental conditions, higher vitamin levels are needed for maximum broiler performance.


In regards to coccidiosis which affects poultry, contributing factors of the parasitic disease include high temperature, humidity, intermittent lighting, improper handling of beds during illuminated periods (which may favour sporulation and the survival of oocysts), high density, locomotor disabilities (birds continue to stand near food and water), infection and immunosuppression.

With coocidiosis in mind, it is important to note is that a healthy intestine has the ability to make selective absorption of nutrients and water, without easily taking in bacteria and toxins. In contrast, a diseased intestine is impaired in absorbing nutrients while it allows the entry of bacteria and toxins. The intestine has been reported to be responsible for 80% of bird immunity.

In response to health problems, anti-coccidials are administered with feed to prevent diseases and the resulting economic loss associated with sub-acute infection. Therapeutic treatments are usually given with water due to the logistical restraints of feed administration Antibiotics and higher levels of vitamins A and K are occasionally used in rations to improve recovery and prevent secondary infection.

Above all, every phases of a chicken's development should be considered critical, as each phase presents a different challenge.

Highlighting this concern further are stress factors which have a direct impact on intestinal quality and, consequently, production and economic parameters.

The phases are thus elaborated as the following: The initial phase is a delicate moment due to poor thermal regulation and immunity; the final phase is the period when mortality should never occur, and; between 18 to 28 days is the transitional phase which is often neglected although it is vital in ensuring positive feed conversion.

In light of the relevant challenges, SANPHAR, a division of the ERBER Group, has developed the effervescent vitamin formula, Celtz® EF Plus, a highly concentrated product which supports essential vitamins replacement with low dosing volumes.

Approved for use in Brazil and Latin America countries, Celtz® EF Plus is safe and easy to handle and transport. It can dilute completely in a water tank without the need for prior dilution.

The product also helps reduce the likelihood of contamination in a water system and clogging in the water cooler (which would restrict water consumption). This advantage preserves water facilities and has minimal impact on the cleaning routine of equipment.

Celtz® EF Plus is especially crucial in the utilisation of other nutrients and maintenance of immune efficiency. Making the most of an animal's genetic potential, it helps alleviate situations which could hamper consumption, like those involving housing stress, post-beak trimming, heat stress, vaccine reaction, mycotoxin poisoning and diseases.

- Marketing and R&D, SANPHAR

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