Results of an international phosphorus digestibility ring test with broiler chickens

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The objective of this ring test was to investigate the prececal phosphorus (P) digestibility of soybean meal (SBM) in broiler chickens using the trial protocol proposed by the World's Poultry Science Association. It was hypothesized that prececal P digestibility of SBM determined in the collaborating stations is similar. Three diets with different inclusion levels of SBM were mixed in a feed mill specialized in experimental diets and transported to 17 collaborating stations. Broiler chicks were raised on commercial starter diets according to station-specific management routine. Then they were fed the experimental diets for a minimum of 5 d before content of the posterior half of the ileum was collected. A minimum of 6 experimental replicates per diet was used in each station. All diets and digesta samples were analyzed in the same laboratory. Diet, station, and their interaction significantly affected (P < 0.05) the prececal digestibility values of P and calcium of the diets. The prececal P digestibility of SBM was determined by linear regression and varied among stations from 19 to 51%, with significant differences among stations. In a subset of 4 stations, the prececal disappearance of myo-inositol 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexakis (dihydrogen phosphate)-P; InsP6-P) also was studied. The prececal InsP6-P disappearance correlated well with the prececal P digestibility. We hypothesized that factors influencing InsP6 hydrolysis were main contributors to the variation in prececal P digestibility among stations. These factors were probably related to the feeding and housing conditions (floor pens or cages) of the birds in the pre-experimental phase. Therefore, we suggest that the World's Poultry Science Association protocol for the determination of digestible P be should extended to the standardization of the pre-experimental period. We also suggest that comparisons of P digestibility measurements among studies are made only with great caution until the protocol is more refined.

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