Effects of calcium to non-phytate phosphorus ratio and different sources of vitamin D on growth performance and bone mineralization in broiler chickens

Jincheng Han Jianguo Wang Guanhua Chen Hongxia Qu Jinliang Zhang Chuanxin Shi Yongfeng Yan Yeonghsiang Cheng About the authors

Abstract

ABSTRACT - A 7 × 2 factorial experiment was designed to test the effects of calcium (Ca) to non-phytate phosphorus (NPP) ratio (1.14, 1.43, 1.71, 2.00, 2.29, 2.57, and 2.86) and different sources of vitamin D (1α-hydroxycholecalciferol (1α-OH-D3) and 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25-OH-D3)) on growth performance and bone mineralization in 1- to 42-d-old broiler chickens. On the day of hatch, 700 female Ross 308 broilers were weighed and randomly assigned to 14 treatments with five stainless steel cages of 10 birds each. Dietary Ca levels were 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, and 10.0 g kg−1 and the NPP content was 3.5 g kg−1. The dose of 1α-OH-D3 or 25-OH-D3 was 5 µg kg−1. Diets were not supplemented with cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Results showed that the Ca to NPP ratio, vitamin D source, and their interaction affected body weight gain (BWG), feed intake (FI), feed efficiency (FE), and carcass and breast yields, as well as tibia weight and length and ash weight in broiler chickens from 1 to 42 d of age. Broilers fed 1α-OH-D3 had higher BWG and FI as well as tibia breaking strength, weight, length, diameter, and ash weight than birds fed 25-OH-D3 at 42 d of age. The Ca to NPP ratio had a quadratic effect on BWG, FI, mortality, as well as tibia breaking strength, weight, length, ash weight, and ash and P contents in 42-d-old broilers. Broiler chickens at 42 d of age obtain optimal growth performance and bone mineralization at the Ca to NPP ratio of 2.32 when 1α-OH-D3 or 25-OH-D3 are used as the vitamin D source.

Key Words:
broiler chicken; 1α-hydroxycholecalciferol; 25-hydroxycholecalciferol


Introduction

The imbalance between dietary calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) damages growth performance and bone development in poultry (Li et al., 2012Li, J.; Yuan, J.; Guo, Y.; Sun, Q. and Hu, X. 2012. Influence of dietary calcium and phosphorus imbalance on intestinal NaPi-IIb and calbindin mRNA expression and tibia parameters of broilers. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 25:552-558.). Usually, the Ca to P ratio is used to evaluate the balance between dietary Ca and P. The Ca to non-phytate phosphorus (NPP) system has been used for evaluating the requirement of Ca and P of poultry (NRC, 1994). The NRC (1994) recommended the Ca and NPP requirements of 10.0 and 4.5 g kg-1 (Ca/NPP = 2.22) in 1- to 21-d-old birds, and 9.0 and 3.5 g kg-1 (Ca/NPP = 2.57) in 22- to 42-d-old broilers. Further research showed that the highest performance and tibia mineralization of broilers were observed at a Ca to NPP ratio of 2.0 (Bar et al., 2003Bar, A.; Shinder, D.; Yosefi, S.; Vax, E. and Plavnik, I. 2003. Metabolism and requirements for calcium and phosphorus in the fast-growing chicken as affected by age. British Journal of Nutrition89:51-61.; Rao et al., 2007Rao, S. V. R.; Raju, M. V. L. N. and Reddy, M. R. 2007. Performance of broiler chicks fed high levels of cholecalciferol in diets containing sub-optimal levels of calcium and non-phytate phosphorus. Animal Feed Science and Technology 134:77-88.). These data suggest that the Ca to NPP ratio ranges from 2.0 to 2.6 in broiler diets. However, another study reported that optimal Ca to NPP ratios were 1.1, 1.4, and 1.6 for body weight gain (BWG), feed efficiency (FE), and tibia ash percentage in broilers from 1 to 16 d of age (Driver et al., 2005Driver, J. P.; Pesti, G. M.; Bakalli, R. I. and Edwards, H. M. Jr. 2005. Calcium requirements of the modern broiler chicken as influenced by dietary protein and age. Poultry Science 84:1629-1639.). These data revealed the uncertainty in the Ca to NPP ratio of broiler diets.

Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) was used as a vitamin D source in the abovementioned research (Bar et al., 2003Bar, A.; Shinder, D.; Yosefi, S.; Vax, E. and Plavnik, I. 2003. Metabolism and requirements for calcium and phosphorus in the fast-growing chicken as affected by age. British Journal of Nutrition89:51-61.; Driver et al., 2005Driver, J. P.; Pesti, G. M.; Bakalli, R. I. and Edwards, H. M. Jr. 2005. Calcium requirements of the modern broiler chicken as influenced by dietary protein and age. Poultry Science 84:1629-1639.; Rao et al., 2007Rao, S. V. R.; Raju, M. V. L. N. and Reddy, M. R. 2007. Performance of broiler chicks fed high levels of cholecalciferol in diets containing sub-optimal levels of calcium and non-phytate phosphorus. Animal Feed Science and Technology 134:77-88.). 1α-hydroxycholecalciferol (1α-OH-D3) and 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25-OH-D3) are derivatives of vitamin D. Their bioavailability is higher than that of vitamin D3. 25-OH-D3 is nearly twice as active as vitamin D3 (Soares et al., 1995Soares, J. H. Jr.; Kerr, J. M. and Gray, R. W. 1995. 25-hydroxycholecalciferol in poultry nutrition. Poultry Science74:1919-1934.) and 1α-OH-D3 is 5 to 8 times as effective as vitamin D3 in broilers (Edwards et al., 2002Edwards, H. M. Jr.; Shirley, R. B.; Escoe, W. B. and Pesti, G. M. 2002. Quantitative evaluation of 1α-hydroxycholecalciferol as a cholecalciferol substitute for broilers. Poultry Science81:664-669.; Han et al., 2013Han, J. C.; Qu, H. X.; Wang, J. Q.; Yao, J. H.; Zhang, C. M.; Yang, G. L.; Cheng, Y. H. and Dong, X. S.2013. The effects of dietary cholecalciferol and 1α-hydroxycholecalciferol levels in a calcium- and phosphorus-deficient diet on growth performance and tibia quality of growing broilers. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences 22:158-164.). 25-OH-D3 has been approved for use in feed for broiler chickens, laying hens, and turkeys in Europe, USA, and China. In contrast, 1α-OH-D3 is not widely used as a feed additive. The effect of Ca to NPP ratio on growth of broiler chickens has not been examined when 1α-OH-D3 or 25-OH-D3 was used as a vitamin D source.

Therefore, the objective of the present study was to assess the influence of dietary Ca to NPP ratio and different sources of vitamin D (1α-OH-D3 or 25-OH-D3) on growth performance and bone mineralization in 1- to 42-d-old broiler chickens.

Material and Methods

All procedures used in the present study were approved by the Animal Care Committee of Shangqiu Normal University.

On the day of hatch, 700 female Ross 308 broilers were weighed and randomly assigned to 14 treatments with five stainless steel starter cages (70 × 70 × 30 cm) of 10 birds each. On d 13, the broilers were transferred to stainless steel finisher cages (190 × 50 × 35 cm). The experiment lasted until the birds reached 42 d of age. A 7 × 2 factorial experiment was designed to test the Ca to NPP ratios of 1.14, 1.43, 1.71, 2.00, 2.29, 2.57, and 2.86 in combination with two sources of vitamin D (1α-OH-D3 and 25-OH-D3). Dietary Ca levels were 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, and 10.0 g kg-1, and the NPP content was 3.5 g kg-1 (Table 1). The dose of 1α-OH-D3 or 25-OH-D3 was 5 µg kg-1. Diets were not supplemented with vitamin D3. Birds were given access to mash feed and water ad libitum. The lighting program consisted of 23 h of light from d 1 to 3, 20 h of light from d 4 to 21, and 18 h of light from d 22 to 42. Room temperature was controlled at 33 °C from d 0 to 3, and then gradually decreased by 3 °C per week to a final temperature of 21 °C on d 42.

Table 1
Composition of the experimental diets

The crystalline 1α-OH-D3 and 25-OH-D3 were supplied by Taizhou Healtech Chemical Co., Ltd. (Taizhou, China) and Changzhou Book Chemical Co., Ltd. (Changzhou, China), respectively. The crystalline 1α-OH-D3 and 25-OH-D3 were weighed and dissolved in ethanol. Then, they were diluted to a final concentration of 10 mg L-1 of 1α-OH-D3 or 25-OH-D3 in a solution of 5% ethanol and 95% propylene glycol (Han et al., 2013Han, J. C.; Qu, H. X.; Wang, J. Q.; Yao, J. H.; Zhang, C. M.; Yang, G. L.; Cheng, Y. H. and Dong, X. S.2013. The effects of dietary cholecalciferol and 1α-hydroxycholecalciferol levels in a calcium- and phosphorus-deficient diet on growth performance and tibia quality of growing broilers. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences 22:158-164.). After preparation, the 1α-OH-D3 or 25-OH-D3 solution was supplemented to the diets.

Birds were weighed on d 21 and d 42. Ten chickens per treatment were selected randomly for the collection of blood and tibiae. Plasma samples (5 mL) were collected through cardiac puncture on d 21 and through the wing vein on d 42. These samples were centrifuged for 10 min at 3,000 g at 20 °C. Birds were killed after collecting the blood samples. Carcass and breast (with bones) were weighed. Carcass and breast yield was calculated as percentage of the live body weight of the birds. The left and right tibiae of individual birds were excised and frozen at -20 °C for further analysis (breaking strength, weight, length, diameter, ash weight, and percentage contents of ash, Ca, and P).

Plasma Ca and inorganic phosphorus were determined using a Shimadzu CL-8000 analyzer (Shimadzu Corp., Kyoto, Japan), following the instructions of the manufacturer.

Following the method of Hall et al. (2003Hall, L. E.; Shirley, R. B.;; Bakalli, R. I. Aggrey, S. E.; Pesti, G. M.and Edwards, H. M. Jr.2003. Power of two methods for the estimation of bone ash of broilers. Poultry Science82:414-418.), the left tibiae were boiled for 5 min to loosen muscle tissues. Meat, connective tissue, and fibula bone were completely removed using scissors and forceps. Tibiae were placed in a container of ethanol for 48 h (removing water and polar lipids) after cleaning. Afterward, the bones were extracted in anhydrous ether for 48 h (removing non-polar lipids). Tibiae were dried at 105 °C for 24 h before weighing. Tibia diameter was determined at the medial point. Tibia ash content was determined by ashing the bone in a muffle furnace for 48 h at 600 °C.

The right tibia was used to analyze the breaking strength, which was determined using an all-digital electronic universal testing machine (Shenzhen Hengen Instrument Co. Ltd., Shenzhen, China). Tibiae were cradled on two support points measuring 4 cm apart. A force was applied to the midpoint of the same face of each tibia using a 50 kg load cell with a crosshead speed of 10 mm min-1 (Jendral et al., 2008Jendral, M. J.; Korver, D. R.; Church, J. S. and Feddes, J. J. R. 2008. Bone mineral density and breaking strength of white leghorns housed in conventional, modified, and commercially available colony battery cages. Poultry Science87:828-837.).

The Ca and total P content in diets and tibiae were determined by the method of Han et al. (2013Han, J. C.; Qu, H. X.; Wang, J. Q.; Yao, J. H.; Zhang, C. M.; Yang, G. L.; Cheng, Y. H. and Dong, X. S.2013. The effects of dietary cholecalciferol and 1α-hydroxycholecalciferol levels in a calcium- and phosphorus-deficient diet on growth performance and tibia quality of growing broilers. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences 22:158-164.). The crude protein content in diets was determined using a PN-1430 Kjeldahl apparatus (Barcelona, Spain).

Replicate means are the experimental units in statistical analysis. All data were analyzed with the two-way ANOVA procedure of SAS software (Statistical Analysis System, version 9.0). Means were compared by Tukey's test when probability values were significant (P<0.05). Polynomial contrasts were used to test the linear and quadratic effects of dietary Ca to NPP ratio on growth performance and bone mineralization. Nonlinear regression analysis was conducted using the PROC NLIN procedure of the SAS software to estimate the optimal Ca to NPP ratio based on growth performance and tibia mineralization. The model was y = ax2 + bx + c, in which y is the response and x is the Ca to NPP ratio.

Results

The Ca to NPP ratio, vitamin D source, and their interaction affected body weight gain (BWG), feed intake (FI), and feed efficiency (FE) of broiler chickens from 1 to 42 d of age (P<0.05, Table 2). Broilers fed 1α-OH-D3 had higher BWG and FI and lower FE than birds fed 25-OH-D3 at 42 d of age (P<0.05). No differences in mortality were observed between broilers fed 1α-OH-D3 and 25-OH-D3 (P>0.05). The Ca to NPP ratio influenced BWG, FI, FE, and mortality quadratically in 42-d-old broilers (P<0.05). Birds obtained the greatest BWG and FI at 42 d of age when the dietary Ca to NPP ratio ranged from 2.00 to 2.29.

Table 2
Effects of Ca to NPP ratio and different sources of vitamin D on growth performance of broiler chickens

The Ca to NPP ratio, vitamin D source, and their interaction affected the carcass and breast yield (P<0.05, Table 3). Broilers fed 1α-OH-D3 had lower carcass and breast yield than birds fed 25-OH-D3 (P<0.05). The Ca to NPP ratio affected the meat yield quadratically (P<0.05). The lowest Ca to NPP ratio resulted in the lowest yield of carcass and breast.

Table 3
Effects of Ca to NPP ratio and different sources of vitamin D on carcass yield and plasma mineral concentration of broiler chickens

The Ca to NPP ratio and vitamin D source affected plasma Ca concentration in 21-d-old birds (P<0.05). Plasma Ca in birds fed 1α-OH-D3 was lower than that of birds fed 25-OH-D3 (P<0.05). The Ca to NPP ratio influenced plasma Ca quadratically (P<0.05). The greatest plasma Ca was at the Ca to NPP ratio of 2.57. No interactions in plasma Ca or inorganic phosphorus concentration in 21- or 42-d-old broilers were observed between the Ca to NPP ratio and vitamin D source (P>0.05).

Vitamin D source affected tibia breaking strength, weight, length, diameter, and ash weight in broilers at 21 and 42 d of age (P<0.05, Tables 4 and 5). Birds fed 1α-OH-D3 had greater tibia breaking strength, weight, length, diameter, and ash weight than those fed 25-OH-D3 at 42 d of age (P<0.05). The percentages of tibia ash, Ca, and P in 42-d-old broilers were not affected by the vitamin D source (P>0.05).

Table 4
Effects of Ca to NPP ratio and different sources of vitamin D on tibia growth of broiler chickens
Table 5
Effects of Ca to NPP ratio and different sources of vitamin D on tibia mineralization of broiler chickens

The Ca to NPP ratio influenced tibia breaking strength, weight, length, ash weight, and ash and P contents quadratically in 42-d-old broilers (P<0.05). Interaction effects between vitamin D source and the Ca to NPP ratio were observed on tibia weight, length, ash weight, and ash percentage (P<0.05). The lowest Ca to NPP ratio resulted in the lowest values of the above parameters.

Quadratic relationships between the Ca to NPP ratio and growth performance or tibia mineralization were observed. Non-linear regression analysis showed that the highest values of BWG, FI, tibia weight, length, ash weight, and ash percentage were observed at the Ca to NPP ratios of 2.33, 2.28, 2.45, 2.21, 2.46, and 2.44 in broiler chickens fed 1α-OH-D3 as the vitamin D source, respectively (Table 6). The above values of Ca to NPP ratio were 2.27, 2.29, 2.25, 2.29, 2.26, and 2.31 in birds fed 25-OH-D3, respectively. In general, the Ca to NPP ratio ranged from 2.21 to 2.46 and the average Ca to NPP ratio was 2.32 in 1- to 42-d-old broilers fed 1α-OH-D3 or 25-OH-D3 as the vitamin D source.

Table 6
Regression analysis of the relationship between Ca to NPP ratio (x) and performance or tibia mineralization (y) in 1- to 42-d-old broiler chickens

Discussion

Our unpublished data indicated that the relative bioavailability of 1α-OH-D3 was higher than that of 25-OH-D3 in broiler chicken diets. Thus, 42-d-old broilers fed 1α-OH-D3 had higher BWG and FI than birds fed 25-OH-D3 in the present study.

The Ca to NPP ratio influenced BWG, FI, FE, and mortality quadratically in 42-d-old broilers. The lowest Ca to NPP ratio of 1.14 damaged growth performance of broilers. Birds obtained the greatest BWG and FI at 42 d of age when the Ca to NPP ratio ranged from 2.27 to 2.33 in diets with 1α-OH-D3 or 25-OH-D3 as vitamin D. Previous research showed that the high Ca to NPP ratio of 4.0 depressed the BWG and FI of broilers (Li et al., 2012Li, J.; Yuan, J.; Guo, Y.; Sun, Q. and Hu, X. 2012. Influence of dietary calcium and phosphorus imbalance on intestinal NaPi-IIb and calbindin mRNA expression and tibia parameters of broilers. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 25:552-558.) and the optimal Ca to NPP ratio was 2.0 in broiler diets with vitamin D3 as the vitamin D source (Bar et al., 2003Bar, A.; Shinder, D.; Yosefi, S.; Vax, E. and Plavnik, I. 2003. Metabolism and requirements for calcium and phosphorus in the fast-growing chicken as affected by age. British Journal of Nutrition89:51-61.; Rao et al., 2007Rao, S. V. R.; Raju, M. V. L. N. and Reddy, M. R. 2007. Performance of broiler chicks fed high levels of cholecalciferol in diets containing sub-optimal levels of calcium and non-phytate phosphorus. Animal Feed Science and Technology 134:77-88.).

A high dietary Ca to NPP ratio negatively affected P utilization because of the formation of Ca-P complexes in the gastrointestinal tract, which is not available for the birds. Growth improvement by lowering the Ca to NPP ratio results from the increase in phytase activity, P digestibility, and P retention in broiler chickens (Qian et al., 1997Qian, H., Kornegay, E. T. and Denbow, D. M. 1997. Utilization of phytate phosphorus and calcium as influenced by microbial phytase, cholecalciferol, and the calcium: total phosphorus ratio in broiler diets. Poultry Science76:37-46), turkeys (Qian et al., 1996), and pigs (Liu et al., 1998Liu, J.; Bollinger, D. W.; Ledoux, D. R. and Veum, T. L. 1998. Lowering the dietary calcium to total phosphorus ratio increases phosphorus utilization in low-phosphorus corn-soybean meal diets supplemented with microbial phytase for growing-finishing pigs. Journal of Animal Science76:808-813.; Stein et al., 2011Stein, H. H.; Adeola, O.; Cromwell, G. L.; Kim, S. W.; Mahan, D. C. and Miller, P. S. 2011. Concentration of dietary calcium supplied by calcium carbonate does not affect the apparent total tract digestibility of calcium, but decreases digestibility of phosphorus by growing pigs. Journal of Animal Science89:2139-2144.). Lowering the dietary Ca to NPP ratio also increases the absorbed and retained P (Al-Masri, 1995Al-Masri, M. R. 1995. Absorption and endogenous excretion of phosphorus in growing broiler chicks, as influenced by calcium and phosphorus ratios in feed. British Journal of Nutrition 74:407-415.).

Decreasing the available phosphorus of 21- to 42-d-old broilers from 4.0 to 2.5 g kg-1 decreased the BWG and carcass yield (Chen and Moran, 1995Chen, X. and Moran, E. T. Jr. 1995. The withdrawal feed of broilers-Carcass responses to dietary phosphorus. Journal of Applied Poultry Research 4:69-82.). Birds fed 4.0 g kg-1 Ca (Ca/NPP = 1.14) had the lowest carcass and breast yields in the present study. These data indicated that deficiency of Ca or P decreased the muscle growth and meat production of broiler chickens.

We have found that 1α-OH-D3 is about two times as effective as 25-OH-D3 in promoting growth performance and bone mineralization in broiler chicken diets (unpublished). Therefore, birds fed 1α-OH-D3 had greater tibia breaking strength, weight, length, diameter, and ash weight than those fed 25-OH-D3 at 42 d of age.

Interaction effects between vitamin D source and the Ca to NPP ratio were observed on tibia weight, length, ash weight, and ash percentage. The Ca to NPP ratio influenced tibia mineralization quadratically. The highest values of tibia weight, length, ash weight, and ash percentage were observed when the dietary Ca to NPP ratio ranged from 2.21 to 2.46 in 42-d-old broilers.

The dietary Ca to P ratio regulates bone mineralization and turnover by affecting the intestinal Ca and P transports in mice (Masuyama et al., 2003Masuyama, R.; Nakaya, Y.; Katsumata, S.; Kajita, Y.; Uehara, M.; Tanaka, S.; Sakai, A.; Kato, S.; Nakamura, T. and Suzuki, K. 2003. Dietary calcium and phosphorus ratio regulates bone mineralization and turnover in vitamin D receptor knockout mice by affecting intestinal calcium and phosphorus absorption. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 18:1217-1226.). The imbalance between Ca and P also impaired bone mineralization of pigs (Létourneau-Montminy et al., 2010Létourneau-Montminy, M. P.; Narcy, A.; Magnin, M.; Sauvant, D.; Bernier, J. F; Pomar, C. and Jondreville, C. 2010. Effect of reduced dietary calcium concentration and phytase supplementation on calcium and phosphorus utilization in weanling pigs with modified mineral status. Journal of Animal Science 88:1706-1717.). Similar results were observed in poultry studies. Dietary Ca or P restriction increased duodenal calbindin and decreased bone ash weight in both 22- and 43-d-old broiler chickens, but the effect on bone ash was less noticeable in the 43-d-old birds than in the younger birds (Bar et al., 2003Bar, A.; Shinder, D.; Yosefi, S.; Vax, E. and Plavnik, I. 2003. Metabolism and requirements for calcium and phosphorus in the fast-growing chicken as affected by age. British Journal of Nutrition89:51-61.). A Ca- and P-deficient diet resulted in low tibia minerals and breaking strength of broilers; all tibia parameters were further decreased when the Ca to P ratio was relatively higher (Li et al., 2012Li, J.; Yuan, J.; Guo, Y.; Sun, Q. and Hu, X. 2012. Influence of dietary calcium and phosphorus imbalance on intestinal NaPi-IIb and calbindin mRNA expression and tibia parameters of broilers. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 25:552-558.). In the present study, deficiency of Ca resulted in poor tibia mineralization, in particular, low levels of breaking strength, length, weight, ash weight, and ash and Ca contents.

The optimal Ca to NPP ratio in broiler chickens fed vitamin D3 has been studied by several researchers. Growth performance and bone ash percentage decreased with the increase of Ca to NPP ratio from 2.1 to 3.8; the highest values were observed at the Ca to NPP ratio of 2.1 in broilers (Qian et al., 1997Qian, H., Kornegay, E. T. and Denbow, D. M. 1997. Utilization of phytate phosphorus and calcium as influenced by microbial phytase, cholecalciferol, and the calcium: total phosphorus ratio in broiler diets. Poultry Science76:37-46). Phosphorus requirements for growth and bone ash are similar and are as high in older chickens as in younger ones, and the Ca requirement for growth and bone ash is 10.0 g kg-1 in broilers (Bar et al., 2003Bar, A.; Shinder, D.; Yosefi, S.; Vax, E. and Plavnik, I. 2003. Metabolism and requirements for calcium and phosphorus in the fast-growing chicken as affected by age. British Journal of Nutrition89:51-61.). Further research showed that the highest performance and tibia quality were observed when the dietary Ca to NPP ratio was 2.0 (Rao et al., 2007Rao, S. V. R.; Raju, M. V. L. N. and Reddy, M. R. 2007. Performance of broiler chicks fed high levels of cholecalciferol in diets containing sub-optimal levels of calcium and non-phytate phosphorus. Animal Feed Science and Technology 134:77-88.). These data indicated that the Ca to NPP ratio in 22- to 42-d-old broilers was lower than that (Ca/NPP = 2.57) recommended by the NRC (1994).

Previous research has shown that addition of 25-OH-D3 helps to relieve leg problems when broiler chickens were fed diets with suboptimal Ca to NPP ratios (Coto et al., 2008Coto, C.; Yan, F.; Cerrate, S.; Wang, Z.; Sacakli, P.; Halley, J. T.; Wiernusz, C. J.; Martinez, A. and Waldroup, P. W. 2008. Effects of dietary levels of calcium and nonphytate phosphorus in broiler starter diets on live performance, bone development and growth plate conditions in male chicks fed a corn-based diet. International Journal of Poultry Science 7:638-645.). 1α-OH-D3 exerts the highest activities at lower concentrations of dietary Ca (Han et al., 2012Han, J. C.; Liu, Y.; Yao, J. H.; Wang, J. Q.; Qu, H. X.; Yan, Y. F.; Yue, J.; Ding, J. L.; Shi, Z. T. and Dong, X. S. 2012. Dietary calcium levels reduce the efficacy of one alpha-hydroxycholecalciferol in phosphorus-deficient diets of broilers. Journal of Poultry Science49:34-38.). In the present study, 42-d-old broilers fed 1α-OH-D3 or 25-OH-D3 as the vitamin D source obtained the highest BWG and FI when the Ca to NPP ratio was from 2.27 to 2.33. In contrast, the Ca to NPP ratio of 2.21 to 2.46 was associated with optimal bone mineralization. The average Ca to NPP ratio is about 2.32 for growth and bone quality in broiler chickens from 1 to 42 d of age.

Conclusions

Broiler chickens at 42 days of age obtain optimal growth performance and bone mineralization at the dietary calcium to non-phytate phosphorus ratio of 2.32 when 1α-OH-D3 or 25-OH-D3 are used as the vitamin D source.

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31101732) and the Innovation Scientists and Technicians Troop Construction Projects of Henan Province.

References

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Jan 2016

History

  • Received
    30 Mar 2015
  • Accepted
    10 Oct 2015
Sociedade Brasileira de Zootecnia Universidade Federal de Viçosa / Departamento de Zootecnia, 36570-900 Viçosa MG Brazil, Tel.: +55 31 3612-4602, +55 31 3612-4612 - Viçosa - MG - Brazil
E-mail: rbz@sbz.org.br