Hello there! Welcome to our Research Digest #1, where my job is to share with you a recently published study in a nutshell.
Today I'd like to chat about the paper titled "Influence of age and duration of feeding low-phosphorus diet on phytase efficacy in broiler chickens during the starter phase".
This is a study from Dr. Adeola’s group at Purdue in collaboration with DSM using their phytase product Ronozyme HiPhos. The paper was published in the June 2019 Issue on Poultry Science.
(Fun fact - Dr. Adeola was on my Ph.D. committee, and is hands down one of the greatest animal nutritionists today with immense knowledge)
The question asked in this study was - how do age & feeding duration affect phytase efficacy in broilers?
What was done
There are so many treatments in this study (20 in total)! Let me try to draw it out for you below…Essentially it was a 4 by 5 factorial arrangement, with 4 diets and 5 feeding periods. Measurements taken included the usual growth performance parameters, tibia ash, Apparent Ileal Digestibilities of DM (dry matter), Ca, and P, and some blood work.
What was found?
Basically everything measured showed a significant main effect or interaction or both. Here are some key results...
- Tibia ash% (Growth performance all followed a similar trend as tibia ash)
- Apparent ileal digestibility of P & Total tract retention of P
Lots of data generated from this trial, but there was quite a clear pattern from them, where you can see
- The younger the birds are & the longer the feeding period is, the worse the birds perform when fed a low-P diet.
- Phytase supplementation at both doses helped in all cases, no negative effect of the higher dose at 2,000 FTU/kg was found.
- Interestingly, birds fed for 2 days had a greater phytase efficacy (meaning the improvements compared to NC) in terms of mineral digestibility & retention when compared to birds fed for 5 or 16 days, and the highest improvement was seen in birds fed d 12-14, thus this time period is recommended for future research on phytase efficacy.
So the answer to the initial question was "Yes", feeding duration does affect phytase efficacy. An interesting comment in the manuscript is that "...the effects of feeding Ca- or P-deficient diets for more than 48 h on AID of P and Ca could be confounded by homeostatic changes or adaptations in the digestive and absorptive ability of birds". So 2 days might be an ideal test window for future phytase efficacy studies and as the results suggested, feeding from 12-14 days might be the way to go to avoid any confounding factors.
Take home message
Phytase works! & Use day 12-14 to test phytase efficacy in broilers.
Full Article Access👇
Babatunde, O.O., Cowieson, A. J., Wilson, J. W. and Adeola, O., 2019. Influence of age and duration of feeding low-phosphorus diet on phytase efficacy in broiler chickens during the starter phase. Poultry Science.
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