The present study was conducted to determine the effects of vitamin C and propolis supplemented diets on nutrient utilization, carcass characteristics and performance in broilers exposed to oxidative stress by lead administration. 360 three-days-old broiler chicks (Ross 308) were randomly divided into four treatment groups each containing 90 animals, including six replicate groups for each treatment. The experimental groups were designed for a 3-42 days period as follows: no supplement to basal ration (Control; group I); supplement of 500 ppm vitamin C and 200 ppm lead (as lead acetate) to basal ration (Vitamin C+Pb; group II); supplement of 1 g/kg propolis and 200 ppm lead (as lead acetate) to basal ration (Propolis + Pb; group III); and supplement of 200 ppm lead (as lead acetate) to basal ration (Pb; group IV). Feed intake was reduced with lead inclusion in the diet (P < 0.05). The presence of lead in the diet reduced the body weight gain (BWG) but vitamin C or propolis supplementation improved the BWG in comparison to lead administered group at 3-42 days (P < 0.01). Feed conversion ratio of control, vitamin C+lead, and propolis+lead groups improved (P < 0.05) in comparison to lead administrated group from 29 to 35 days. Utilization of crude protein improved with both vitamin C and propolis supplementation in comparison to the lead administrated group (P < 0.05). Hot and cold carcass, leg and breast yields were higher (P < 0.05) for the control than for the lead added groups (P < 0.05). Except to breast yield, other carcass characteristics in the control group were similar with those of the vitamin C or propolis supplemented groups. The results suggested that lead inclusion in diet of birds had negative effects on the performance while propolis supplements improved the growth, nutrient utilization and carcass yield. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.