Two separate experiments were conducted to determine the ability of magnesium aspartate hydrochloride (Mg-Asp-HCl) to antagonize the effects of thermal stress in laying hens. In both experiments, hens were exposed to either a cyclic ambient temperature of 27 C to 35 C (hyperthermic group) or 23 C (control group) for 7 days. In Experiment 1, hens were given a single injection of either saline, 40 mg, or 80 mg Mg-Asp-HCl. Experiment 2 hens received a single injection of saline, 40 mg Mg-Asp-HCl, or twice daily injection of 40 mg Mg-Asp-HCl. In both experiments, heat-stressed hens had elevated body temperature and reduced body weight, feed consumption, and circulating mean Mg concentrations. Hyperthermic hens also had reduced egg weights in Experiment 1. A single daily injection of 40 mg of Mg-Asp-HCl significantly reduced body weight loss in heat stressed hens by 41 and 51%, in Experiment 1 and 2, respectively, when compared with heat-stressed hens not receiving Mg-Asp-HCl (controls). The Mg-Asp-HCl treatment did not affect overall feed intake, egg production, or body temperature in either experiment. The highest dose of Mg-Asp-HCl (80 mg) elevated circulating magnesium concentrations. A single daily injection of 80 mg of Mg-Asp-HCl or twice daily injections of 40 mg Mg-Asp-HCl did not provide any additional benefit when compared with a single daily dose of 40 mg. The antistress effects of Mg-Asp-HCl are apparent in these experiments as evidenced by the increased body weight of heat-stressed hens. Use of this compound may prove to be beneficial in maintaining the performance characteristics of poultry exposed to elevated ambient temperature.
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