1997, Number 4
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ABSTRACTCopper, selenium, iron, and zinc hepatic concentrations in healthy and ascitic broilers were measured. These elements were chosen due to their participation in the oxigen exchange among fluids and body tissues. These elements were measured by atomic absorption spectrometry. The task was oriented to look for an indirect indication of a metabolic alteration using the above mentioned elements. Broilers were housed and fed in commercial operation type facilities. Feed was made of sorghum and soybean meal plus a supplementation of vitamins and minerals according to nutritional needs. Ascitic broilers presented hepatic Se levels (2.58 ppm) lower than the healthy animals (2.61), as well as a lower copper concentration (ascitic, 15.53 versus the healthy ones 17.31 ppm), but Iron content was higher in ascitic (436.66 ppm) than in healthy broilers (389.81 pprn). Zinc content was higher in ascitic broilers (136.62 ppm) than in healthy ones (104.72 ppm) . The same behaviour was measured regarding this difference, and it was also statistically different (P ‹ 0.05). Results in this study indicate an alteration in the metabolism of zinc, which is probably related to a defense mechanism in broilers suffering of an ascitis syndrome.
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