Growth performance and nutrient utilization of broiler chickens fed diets supplemented with phytase alone or in combination with citric acid and multicarbohydrase.
To investigate the additive effects of xylanase, amylase, protease, and phytase in the diets of broiler chickens, a study was conducted using 1,152 growing broiler chicks (8 treatments with 12 replicate pens of 12 chicks). The birds were fed a corn/soybean-based negative control (NC) diet that was formulated to be nutritionally marginal in terms of metabolizable energy, Ca, and P. A nutritionally adequate positive control (PC) diet was fed for comparison. The NC diet was supplemented with phytase; a cocktail of xylanase, amylase, and protease (XAP); or a combination of phytase and XAP at 100 or 200 mg of each enzyme/kg (200 mg of XAP/kg provided a guaranteed minimum of 300 U of xylanase, 400 U of amylase, and 4,000 U of protease/kg; 200 mg of phytase/kg provided a guaranteed minimum of 1,000 U of phytase/kg). Growth performance, ileal digestible energy (IDE), and the digestibility coefficients of N, Ca, P, and DM were calculated. Individually and in combination, both phytase and XAP improved (P < 0.05) gain-to-feed ratio compared with the NC diet, particularly at the highest inclusion concentration. Body weight gain followed a similar trend, showing an improvement of approximately 6 to 7% with either enzyme individually and a 14% improvement with a combination of phytase and XAP. The effect of enzymes on IDE and nutrient digestibility coefficients was not as marked, but a 165 kcal/kg reduction in IDE was noted between the NC and PC diets, and a combination of phytase and XAP improved IDE by >100 kcal/kg. It can be concluded that the use of phytase and XAP individually in a corn/soybean meal-based diet is effective in improving nutrient digestibility and performance of broilers fed nutritionally marginal diets. Furthermore, there may be an additive effect of phytase and XAP on broiler performance, giving a cost-effective nutritional strategy for the profitable production of poultry products.