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Swine Nutrition and Feed Technology
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2007;20(2): 237-244.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2007.237    Published online November 27, 2006.
Growth, Bone Mineralization and Mineral Excretion in Broiler Starter Chicks Fed Varied Concentrations of Cholecalciferol
S. V. Rama Rao*, M. V. L. N. Raju, G. Shyam Sunder, A. K. Panda, P. Pavani
Correspondence:  S. V. Rama Rao,
An experiment was conducted to study the growth performance, bone mineralization and mineral excretion in broiler starter chicks fed high levels of cholecalciferol (CC) at sub-optimal levels of calcium (Ca) and non-phytate phosphorus (NPP). Five hundred and sixty day-old Vencobb female broiler chicks were housed in raised wire floor stainless steel battery brooder pens (24????0????8?? at the rate of five chicks per pen. A maize-soyabean meal basal diet was supplemented with dicalcium phosphate, oyster shell powder and synthetic CC to arrive at two levels each of Ca (0.50 and 0.60%), and NPP (0.25 and 0.30%) and four levels of CC (200, 1,200, 2,400 and 3,600 ICU/kg) in a 2???? factorial design. Each diet was fed ad libitum to chicks in 7 pens from 2 to 21days of age. Body weight gain, feed intake and bone weight increased (p<0.05) with increase in level of CC at both the Ca and NPP levels tested. The CC levels required to obtain significant improvement in body weight gain and feed intake reduced (2,400 ICU/kg vs. 1,200 ICU/kg) with increase in levels of P in diet (0.25% vs. 0.3%, respectively). The feed conversion ratio was significantly improved (p<0.05) with increase in level of CC from 200 to 1,200 ICU/kg diet at 0.5% Ca, while at 0.6% Ca, the level of CC in diet did not influence the feed efficiency. Tibia mineralization (density, breaking strength and ash content) and Ca and P contents in serum increased significantly (p<0.05) with increase in levels of CC in diet. The CC effect on these parameters was more pronounced at lower levels of Ca and NPP (0.5 and 0.25%, respectively). The data on body weight gain and feed intake indicated that NPP level in diet can be reduced from 0.30 to 0.25% by increasing CC from 200 to 2,400 ICU/kg. Similarly, the bone mineralization (tibia weight, density and ash content) increased non-linearly (p<0.01) with increase in CC levels in diet. Concentrations of P and Mn in excreta decreased (p<0.01), by increasing CC level from 200 to 2,400 ICU/kg diet. It can be concluded that dietary levels of Ca and NPP could be reduced to 0.50 and 0.25%, respectively by enhancing the levels of cholecalciferol from 200 to 2,400 ICU/kg with out affecting body weight gain, feed efficiency and bone mineralization. Additionally, phosphorus and manganese excretion decreased with increase in levels of CC in broiler diet.
Keywords: Broilers; Cholecalciferol; Calcium; Non-phytate Phosphorus; Bone Mineralization; Mineral Retention

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