Document Type : Original Article


Poultry Science Department, Ain Shams University, Cairo, 11241, Egypt.


An experiment was carried out to examine effects of using extra dietary vitamin D3 along with low levels of calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) on performance, bone quality and mineral retention of broilers. Three starter diets were used; Control (C), Medium (M) and Low (L) which contain Ca: 1.00, 0.75 and 0.50%; non-phytate P (NPP): 0.50, 0.37 and 0.25%; D3: 3,000, 5,000 and 7,000 IU/kg, respectively. As well, three grower diets were used; (C), (M) and (L) contain Ca: 0.90, 0.65, and 0.40%; NPP: 0.45, 0.32 and 0.20%; D3: 3,000, 6,000 and 9,000 IU/kg, respectively. Six treatment groups were distributed according to diets fed in starter and grower periods consecutively; (C/C), (C/M), (C/L), (M/M), (M/L) and (L/L). Each group contained 40 birds in four replicates 10 chicks each. Body weight gain, feed efficiency, plasma concentration of Ca and P and plasma alkaline phosphatase activity, were not affected by dietary treatments compared to (C/C) except for (C/L) group. Similarly, tibia breaking strength, tibia ash and Ca and P percentage, were not affected by different dietary treatments except for (C/L) group which recorded lower bone density compared to (C/C) group. Birds of (C/L), (M/L) or (L/L) groups retained more Ca and P compared with those of other treatments. Based on results obtained, it could be concluded that extra vitamin D3 supplementations (9,000 IU/Kg) to low Ca and NPP (0.40 and 0.20%, respectively) diets could alleviate performance, bone quality and mineral retention, and decrease environmental pollution especially with P, as well as to minimize feed cost.


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