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Effect of dietary phosphorus and calcium on performance of broilers from 3 to 7 weeks of age

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Abstract:

In this experiment the effects of total dietary phosphorus (TP) and calcium (Ca) on growth, feed conversion ratio, breast muscle yield, serum phosphorus (P), and bone measurements were examined. From 3 to 6 weeks, four levels of TP (4.5, 5.0, 5.5, and 6.0 g kg–1) and two levels of Ca (7.0 and 9.0 g kg–1) provided eight treatments. From 6 to 7 weeks, diets with two levels of TP (4.5 and 5.5 g kg–1) and three levels of Ca (6.0, 7.0, and 8.0 g kg–1) were used. Diets with 4.5 g kg–1 TP did not contain a source of inorganic P. Interactions were detected for feed intake, weight gain, and serum P at 6 weeks. Birds fed 5.0, 5.5, and 6.0 g kg–1 TP with 9.0 g kg–1 Ca consumed more feed and gained more weight as compared to the other groups. Feed conversion of birds fed the 9.0 g kg–1 Ca diet was lower than those fed diets with 7.0 g kg–1 Ca. Serum P was increased (P < 0.05) at the lowest level of TP when dietary Ca was lowered. Lowering the Ca level, in general, raised (P < 0.05) serum P. Ash was a function of the amounts of TP and Ca in the diets; Ca and P contents of the bones were not affected by the dietary treatments (P > 0.05). Interactions or main effects for TP and Ca were not detected for body weight gain, feed consumption, feed conversion, breast muscle yield, serum P and bone measurements at 7 weeks of age. Our findings demonstrate that from 3 to 6 weeks of age, dietary total P can be lowered to 5.0 – 5.5 g kg–1 while the inorganic P source can be removed in the finisher diets without loss in performance or bone integrity.

Keywords: BONE INTEGRITY; BROILERS; CALCIUM; PERFORMANCE; TOTAL PHOSPHORUS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3184/175815512X13267443354616

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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