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Br Poult Sci. 2008 Jan;49(1):37-44. doi: 10.1080/00071660701812989.

Effect of exogenous enzymes in maize-based diets varying in nutrient density for young broilers: growth performance and digestibility of energy, minerals and amino acids.

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Danisco Animal Nutrition, Marlborough, England.


1. A total of 192 male broilers (Cobb 500) were used in a growth and digestibility assay, involving a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments, to assess the effects of an enzyme cocktail of xylanase, amylase and protease in maize-based diets. 2. The following two diets were formulated: a positive control diet containing adequate nutrient concentrations for broiler starters as per breeder recommendations and a negative control diet to contain approximately 0.63 MJ/kg apparent metabolisable energy (AME) and 3% amino acids less than the positive control. 3. A further two dietary treatments were developed by supplementing each control diet with an enzyme product containing xylanase, amylase and protease. 4. Birds fed on the negative control diet had poorer weight gain and feed efficiency than those given the positive control diet. There was no effect of diet or enzyme on feed intake. The digestibility of nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus and most amino acids were unaffected by dietary nutrient density. 5. Supplementation of both the positive and negative control diets with the enzyme improved weight gain and feed efficiency compared with the unsupplemented diets. In the case of the negative control, supplemental enzyme improved performance to that of the unsupplemented positive control diet. There was no interaction between diet and enzyme for either weight gain or FCR, suggesting similar beneficial responses regardless of the nutrient density of the diet. 6. In both diets, enzyme supplementation improved AME by an average of 3% (0.35 MJ/kg DM) and nitrogen retention by an average of 11.7% (26 g/kg DM intake vs 29 g/kg DM intake). There was no interaction between diet and enzyme for AME or nitrogen retention. 7. Ileal digestibilities of calcium and phosphorus were not influenced by supplemental enzyme, whereas the digestibility of nitrogen and most amino acids was improved by enzyme addition compared with the unsupplemented control diets. There was no interaction between diet and enzyme for the ileal digestibility of nitrogen and amino acids. 8. These data demonstrate that it is possible to improve the nutritional value of a maize/soy-based diet for broiler starters through the use of exogenous enzymes. The nutrient density of the diet does not appear markedly to influence the response to enzyme, offering flexibility in the use of enzymes for maize-based diets. 9. It is concluded that the energy and amino acid values of maize-based diets for broilers can be enhanced by supplementation with an enzyme cocktail of xylanase, amylase and protease, offering potential economic benefits to producers.

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