Performance and phytate utilization of meat-type chickens fed varied levels of acidified diets
This study focuses on the performance and phytate utilization of meat-type chickens fed varied levels of acidified diets. Anti-nutrients such as phytate can inhibit growth performance in chickens; hence the need to supplement additives such as feed grade acidifiers that enhance digestibility and feed utilization. Three hundred and sixty day old broiler chicks were assigned to five treatment groups of three replicates each assigned with 24 and 20-chickens at both starter and finisher phases respectively, in a completely randomized design. The control treatment had diet optimal in available phosphorus at 0.5% while treatments two to five were fed sub-optimal available phosphorus diets at 0.4% in addition to acidifiers supplemented at 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4% respectively. Results showed that 0.3%feed acidification was significantly (P<0.05) better than other levels of supplementation and the control in performance characteristics. Increasing the level of supplementation beyond 0.3% elicited a decline in weight gain, feed conversion ratio and feed cost per kilogram gain. These performance indicators also declined as feed acidification reduced from 0.3% to the acid control group. In conclusion, 0.3% supplementation of acidifiers in broiler diets can significantly (P<0.05) improve phytate hydrolysis, growth performance and other productive parameters. Supplementation of feed grade organic acid at 0.3% is recommended for broiler diets as it competes favourably with phytate improving its hydrolysis and enhancing utilization of feed components.
Keywords: Phytate, broiler, organic acid, utilization