Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 146, Issue 3, pp 309–317

Effects of Different Levels of Organic and Inorganic Chromium on Growth Performance and Immunocompetence of Broilers under Heat Stress


    • Animal Science DepartmentRazi University
  • M. Habibian
    • Animal Science DepartmentRazi University
  • M. M. Moeini
    • Animal Science DepartmentRazi University
  • A. R. Abdolmohammadi
    • Animal Science DepartmentRazi University

DOI: 10.1007/s12011-011-9260-1

Cite this article as:
Ghazi, S., Habibian, M., Moeini, M.M. et al. Biol Trace Elem Res (2012) 146: 309. doi:10.1007/s12011-011-9260-1


This experiment was carried out to investigate the effects of different levels of organic and inorganic chromium on the performance, immune function and some serum mineral concentrations of broilers under heat stress condition (23.9–37°C cycling). A total of 150 one-day-old broiler chicks according to a completely randomized design were assigned into five treatment groups. Each treatment consisted of three replicates and each replicate contained ten chicks. Chicks were fed on corn–soybean meal basal diets with added different concentrations of chromium (0, 600 and 1,200 μg kg−1 chromium chloride or 600 and 1,200 μg/kg chromium l-methionine) from 1 to 49 days of age. Humoral immunity was assessed by intravenous injection of 7% sheep red blood cell (SRBC) followed by evaluation of serum for antibody titers in primary and secondary responses. Cell-mediated immunity was assessed by the cutaneous basophil hypersensitivity (CBH) test to phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-P at day 32 and PHA-M at day 48. Heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratio was also measured as a reliable indicator of stress. The body mass, feed intake and conversion ratio were not influenced by dietary chromium (P > 0.05). Dietary supplementation of both organic and inorganic chromium significantly increased primary and secondary antibody responses (P < 0.01), and also improved H/L ratio (P < 0.05), CBH response (P < 0.01) as well as relative weights of thymus (P < 0.05) and spleen (P < 0.01). Both dietary organic and inorganic chromium caused an increase in serum concentrations of Cr and Zn (P < 0.01), but decreased the serum concentration of Cu (P < 0.01). These results suggest that supplemental chromium especially in organic form offers a good management practice to reduce heat stress-related depression in immunocompetence of broiler chicks.


BroilerChromiumGrowth performanceHeat stressImmune responses

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011