Response of modern broiler chickens to dietary calcium and phosphorus levels below recommendations

CEYLAN N., Koca S., YAVAŞ İ., ÇENESİZ A. A., Kahraman N., Özlü Ş.

Italian Journal of Animal Science, vol.19, no.1, pp.1246-1254, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/1828051x.2020.1819171
  • Journal Name: Italian Journal of Animal Science
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.1246-1254
  • Keywords: Broilers, calcium, growth performance, phosphorus, requirements, tibia
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


This study was carried out to investigate the effects of reduced dietary calcium (Ca) and non-phytate-phosphorus (NPP) levels on performance, carcase yield and bone mineralisation of modern broilers. 11,200 one-day-old chicks (Ross-308) were divided into 7 treatments and 8 replicates with standard recommended level and six different levels of Ca and NPP reduction with completely randomised block design. Treatments were divided into following diets; T1: ross recommended control, T2: 94%, 95% and 91% as percentage of T1, T3: 94%, 95% and 83% as percentage of T1, T4: 94%, 91% and 83% as percentage of T1, T5: 94%, 91% and 77% as percentage of T1, T6: 94%, 86% and 83% as percentage of T1 and T7: 94%, 86% and 77% as percentage of T1 for starter, grower and finisher periods, respectively. Results showed that, the Ca and NPP reduction (T2–T7) through starter period did not significantly (p>.05) affect performance but when considered whole period, quadratically (p<.05) improved body weight gain (BWG), feed conversion ratio (FCR) and European Production Efficiency (EPEF). In line with, Ca and NPP intakes were decrease linearly and quadratically with Ca and NPP reducing in diet and higher intakes at T1 resulted in impaired BWG and FCR. On the other hand, carcase parameters and tibia mineralisation were not significantly affected by the reductions. In conclusion, Ca and NPP requirements of Ross 308 broilers seem to be lower than the Aviagen 2014 and 2019 recommendations and reducing almost 20% Ca and NPP intake of broilers is possible, especially after starter period, to maintain performance without any negative effect on bone development.Highlights Excessive dietary Ca and P feeding have potential deleterious effects on broilers. Dietary Ca and NPP reduction improved growth performance, without impairment bone characteristics. Especially after starter period, Ca and NPP reduction, by keeping the dietary levels as 0.90:0.45, 0.75;0.38 and 0.60;0.30% for starter, grower and finisher phase respectively, seems enough for Ross-308.