South African Journal of Animal Science

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Performance, water intake, carcass characteristics and intestinal histomorphology of broilers supplemented with phytase

L. van Emmenes, E. Pieterse, L.C. Hoffman


A 32-day experiment was conducted to study the effects of supplementation of phytase enzyme, Ronozyme® HiPhos (DSM Nutritional Products, Basel, Switzerland), on the production parameters, water intake, intestinal histomorphology, carcass characteristics and bone mineralization of broiler chickens. A total of 1920 one-day-old Cobb 500 broilers were randomly allocated to one of three treatments, each comprising eight replicate cages (eight replications per treatment) with 80 birds per cage. Dietary treatments were created using a standard commercial diet as the positive control (CON); reducing the nutrient content of the CON diet with values similar to the matrix values of 1500 FYT (phytase units) Ronozyme® HiPhos to create the negative control diet (NEG); and supplementing the NEG diet with 1500 FYT/kg Ronozyme HiPhos to create the phytase diet (HiPhos). Supplementation of the NEG diet with HiPhos significantly improved average daily gain (ADG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), bodyweight (BW) at slaughter and the European production efficiency factor (EPEF) of broilers compared with those in the NEG treatment group, but had no effect on total feed intake, water intake, villi height, crypt depth, dressing percentage, portion yields, pH of the meat or colour of the meat. Fat-free bone ash percentage and tibia breaking strength of broilers in the HiPhos treatment group were intermediate to broilers in the NEG and CON treatment groups. Results from the study proved that broilers could be supplemented with HiPhos phytase without detrimental effects on growth parameters, bone mineralization, carcass characteristics and water intake.

Keywords: Bone breaking strength, chickens, phosphorus, villus height, weight gain

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