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Which feed additives should not be used with sodium bicarbonate?

June 12,2023

Sodium bicarbonate is an anti-heat stress feed additive suitable for summer animal breeding, which has the effects of anti-heat stress, increasing lactation of cows (sheep), improving milk fat rate, improving egg production rate of laying hens, increasing egg shell thickness, reducing watery diarrhoea of laying hens and reducing heat stress mortality. However, sodium bicarbonate can react with a variety of common summer anti-stress feed additives, causing each other or both to lose their anti-stress effect.

The following types of anti-heat stress feed additives should not be used with sodium bicarbonate:

1. Acid-based anti-heat stress feed additives.

Add 0.05% to 0.15% of citric acid to the diet of egg-laying hens in summer to improve egg production and egg weight; add 0.1% of fenugreek acid to broiler feed in summer to significantly reduce its heat stress response and gain 0.34 kg more weight; add 1% of isotonic acid-type dairy additive to the concentrate of dairy cows in summer to ease their heat stress response, increase feed intake, and gradually regain milk production due to heat reduction. However, if these feed additives are combined with sodium bicarbonate, a neutralisation reaction will occur between the two sides and both will lose their anti-heat stress effect.

2. Vitamin C.

Adding 0.02% vitamin C to broiler feed in summer can increase weight gain by 9.16% and reduce heat stress mortality from 22% to 7.3%; in summer, when the temperature is above 30°C, adding 50 mg of vitamin C per kg of feed to laying hens can increase egg production rate by 10% to 12% and improve egg shell quality. However, vitamin C is easily soluble in water, acidic and strongly reducible, stable in acidic solutions, and will be quickly destroyed in alkaline solutions. When combined with sodium bicarbonate, the aqueous solution of sodium bicarbonate is more alkaline and vitamin C will be destroyed quickly and thus become ineffective.

3. Sodium chloride.

During the summer heat, adding 0.2% to 0.3% sodium chloride to the drinking water of broilers can significantly increase the amount of water drunk by broilers, thus effectively relieving heat stress. However, when sodium chloride is applied at the same time with sodium bicarbonate, it can increase sodium ions in broiler chickens, affecting their nerve centres and causing movement disorders. Therefore, when sodium bicarbonate is used, the amount of sodium chloride should be reduced by half or the full amount.

4. Ammonium chloride.

Under heat stress conditions, adding 1% ammonium chloride to broiler diets can increase weight gain by 25%; adding 0.25% to 0.3% ammonium chloride to drinking water can increase weight gain by 23% and reduce the infection of septicemia mycoplasma. Consequences of ammonium chloride in combination with sodium bicarbonate: ① When treating inflammation of the respiratory tract, ammonium chloride is used as an expectorant. When used with sodium bicarbonate, ammonium chloride undergoes decomposition changes, first producing urea and then decomposing into ammonia, sodium chloride, water and carbon dioxide, resulting in the loss of the expectorant effect of ammonium chloride. ② When treating inflammation of the urinary system, ammonium chloride is used as an acidifying agent in the urine and creates the conditions for the breakdown of urotropine into the apparently potent formaldehyde. If sodium bicarbonate is also used and the broiler's urine is not acidic, the urotropine does not produce efficacy. (3) According to foreign information, adding sodium bicarbonate to broiler diets in summer has a tendency to increase alkalosis; adding ammonium chloride has a tendency to increase acidosis, so we advocate using both, but do not mix the application, to add in the morning and afternoon respectively.

5. Aspirin.

Adding 0.05% aspirin to the feed of laying hens in summer can significantly improve egg production rate, egg weight and shell thickness. However, aqueous sodium bicarbonate is alkaline and can cause aspirin to decompose into acetylsalicylate and then into other substances, thus losing the effect of anti-heat stress, so the two should not be used together.