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Effect of inulin on growth performance, intestinal tract sizes, mineral retention and tibial bone mineralisation in broiler chickens

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1. A 5-week feeding trial with 240 one-day-old male broiler chickens was conducted to investigate the responses of performance, intestinal tract measurements, relative apparent retention of minerals (Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn and Cu), and tibial bone measurements and mineral content (ash and Ca) to dietary graded levels of inulin. Treatments consisted of a maize-soybean meal control diet without or with supplemental antibiotic (flavomycin, 40 mg/kg diet) and 4 diets containing inulin at concentrations of 5, 10, 15 and 20 g/kg. 2. Growth performance of birds and morphological measurements of intestinal tract (duodenum, jejunum, ileum and caeca) showed no response to dietary levels of inulin as compared with the control diet and the control diet with flavomycin. 3. Dietary inulin improved the relative apparent retention of Ca, Zn and Cu (up to 18·4, 35·5 and 466%, respectively), did no affect that of Mg and impaired the retention of Fe. Differences among inulin treatments and control with flavomycin were significant only for Mg content. 4. Dietary inulin increased the concentration of ash and Ca in the tibiae. This effect was not reflected in the tibial bone morphology (weight, length and width). In conclusion, the results from the current study suggest that feeding inulin to broiler chickens may have a beneficial effect on bone quality.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Animal Production, Veterinary Faculty, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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