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Pol J Vet Sci. 2012;15(2):227-32.

The effect of different dietary sodium levels on blood mineral concentrations and tibia mineralization in turkeys.

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  • 1Department of Poultry Science, University of Warmia and Mazury, Oczapowskiego 5, 10-718 Olsztyn, Poland.


The objective of this study was to determine the effect of different dietary levels of sodium in diets with and without sodium chloride on mineral metabolism, including blood electrolyte levels and tibia mineralization parameters, in young turkeys (to six weeks of age). The influence of diets with a low (L), medium (M) and high (H) sodium content, at 0.34, 1.34 and 2.82 g/kg respectively, was compared. The content of chloride and potassium in turkey diets (1.7 - 5.9 and 11 g/kg, respectively) was above the recommended levels. The sodium-deficient diet L decreased the serum concentrations of sodium, chloride and phosphorus, and it increased the serum levels of calcium and magnesium in turkeys, compared with groups M and H. Relative to group L, different dietary sodium levels in groups M and H contributed to a similar increase in the body weights of birds (1.06 vs. 1.46 and 1.44 kg, p < 0.001) and in the absolute (4.60 vs. 6.83 and 6.62 g, p < 0.001) and relative tibia weight (0.42 vs. 0.46 and 0.46% body weight, p = 0.031). No significant differences were found between groups with respect to the content of ash, calcium and phosphorus in tibia dry matter. Supplemental sodium increased the bone density index (from 50.6 to 68.4 and 66.3 mg/mm in groups L, M and H, respectively, p < 0.001), the maximum bending moment (from 5.27 to 7.40 and 7.33 N/mm, p = 0.002) and the minimum breaking strength of tibia (from 0.136 to 0.191 and 0.189, p = 0.002). In conclusion, our study indicates that the applied dietary treatment with a moderate sodium level (1.34 g/kg) resulted in a rate of bird growth and tibia mineralization similar to those observed with the treatment with much higher Na content (2.82 g/kg).

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