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J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2010 Feb 1;94(1):86-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0396.2008.00884.x. Epub 2009 Mar 31.

Effect of low doses of dietary rare earth elements on growth performance of broilers.

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Institut für Physiologie, Physiologische Chemie und Tierernährung, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany.


The present study was designed to investigate effect of dietary rare earth elements (REE), including both organic and inorganic compounds, on growth performance of broilers. In experiment 1, a total of 180 male Ross broiler chicks were allocated to 72 pens with different assignment: four chicks per pen or individually. The following three treatment diets were applied: control, REE-chlorides at a dose of 40 mg/kg and REE-citrate at a dose of 70 mg/kg. Each treatment group had 24 pens containing both assignments (12 pens each). In experiment 2, a total of 72 male 3-day-old Ross broiler chicks were separated to four groups: control, REE-chlorides at a dose of 70 mg/kg and REE-citrate at doses of 70 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg. In experiment 1, dietary REE-citrate improved body weight gain during the overall period by 5.0% (p < 0.05) while the increase with REE-chloride was not significant. In experiment 2, growth effects (p < 0.05) were only found in the period from day 21 to slaughter with all REE forms, and feed conversion ratio was improved by 3.4% (p < 0.05) with REE-citrate. No significant effects of REE were found on chill weight, percentages of breast meat, thigh weight, drumstick weight and wing weight. Concentrations of La and Ce in the liver and muscles were very low, accounting for 0.11-0.76 and 0.02-0.30 mg/kg respectively. There was weak tendency for a dose-response relationship especially in the groups supplemented with REE-chlorides. The main blood serum biochemical parameters were not significantly affected by REE in the diets. The results suggest that dietary supplementation of low doses of REE-citrates might improve growth performance of broilers without affecting carcass composition and health of the broilers.

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