1. A study was conducted to investigate the effects of several vitamins and trace elements supplemented to basal breeder and broiler feed to the immune system. Effects were tested in control chickens and in chickens experimentally infected with malabsorption syndrome (MAS). 2. Vitamins and trace minerals in feed were varied. Breeders received either a basal amount of vitamins and trace minerals (low mix) or an increased amount (high mix). Their progeny also received either a low mix or a high mix. Effects of different breeder and broiler mix combinations on broiler performance, heamatology, spleen weight and humoral response were examined in control chickens. The effects of the different feeds and breeder, broiler combinations at the severity and recovery of MAS infection were also studied. 3. In general, the immune system can be stimulated by addition of vitamins and trace minerals, without affecting the growth potential of the controls. The number of leukocytes increased on d1 in the broilers descended from breeders receiving high mix. The response to Newcastle disease virus boost was affected by the different amount of vitamins. 4. When breeders received a high mix the number of infiltrating polymorphonuclear leukocytes in the intestine was higher compared with breeders receiving basal amounts of minerals and vitamins. Also the recovery rate of intestinal lesions, cystic crypts of Lieberkuhn and villus atrophy, as observed by histopathology, was faster in the groups where the breeders received high mix.
- laying hen