Oral administration of L-citrulline (L-Cit) caused hypothermia, but L-Cit is not recommended in poultry diets in Japan. Watermelon is a natural source of L-Cit. The objective of this study is to examine the effect of watermelon waste, i.e., watermelon rind (WR) on the body temperature and plasma free amino acids of chicks. In Experiment 1, 14-day-old chicks were subjected to acute oral administration of WR extract (WRE) (2 ml) under control thermo-neutral temperature (CT). In Experiment 2, 15-day-old chicks were orally administered 1.6 ml of either WRE, low-dose L-Cit (7.5 mmol/10 ml), or high-dose L-Cit (15 mmol/10 ml) under CT. In both experiments, rectal temperature (RT) and plasma free amino acids were analyzed. In Experiment 3, after dual oral administration of (1.6 ml) WRE or L-Cit (15 mmol/10 ml), 15-day-old chicks were exposed to high ambient temperature (HT; 35±1℃, 2 h) to monitor changes in RT. Acute oral administration of WRE significantly reduced RT under CT. The degree of RT reduction by WRE was similar to that by high L-Cit. Moreover, RT was significantly low at HT owing to the oral administration of WRE. However, the reduced RT was difficult to explain by the content of Cit in WRE alone. In conclusion, WRE could be used as a dietary ingredient to reduce body temperature for imparting thermotolerance in chicks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology