Effects of calcium feeding strategy on true ileal phosphorus digestibility and true phosphorus retention determined with growing broilers1

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An experiment utilizing 960 Ross × Ross 708 male broilers was conducted to determine the effects of Ca feeding strategy on true ileal (prececal) P digestibility (TIPD) and true P retention (TPR) of corn. Experimental diets were formulated with 1 of 3 dietary Ca feeding strategies (0.95%, 0.13%, or variable Ca concentrations to maintain a 2.1:1 Ca:P ratio) and contain 0, 25, 50, or 75% corn. A practical corn-soybean meal diet (1.4:1 Ca:P ratio) was fed as a control. After receiving a common starter diet, experimental diets were fed from 19 to 26 d of age. After a 48-h dietary adaptation period, a 48-h retention assay was conducted. At 25 and 26 d of age, ileal digesta were collected from 8 birds per cage. Broilers consuming the control diet had higher (P < 0.001) BW gain, feed intake, digesta P, and excreta P than broilers consuming the corn titration diets. Digesta and excreta P increased (linear, P < 0.05) with graded increases of corn. True ileal P digestibility and TPR were highest (P < 0.05) for diets with 0.13% Ca (57.3 and 69.5%, respectively) compared with diets formulated with a 2.1:1 Ca:P ratio (41.2 and 37.8%, respectively) or 0.95% Ca (25.4 and 39.0%, respectively). Values for TPR were higher (P < 0.05) than those for TIPD except when the dietary Ca:P ratio was fixed. Additionally, negative endogenous P losses were predicted by regression equations when TPR was estimated for birds fed titration diets with the fixed Ca:P ratio. Changing the Ca concentration of the diets to maintain a fixed Ca:P ratio influenced (P < 0.001) apparent P retention, which affected the estimate for TPR due to the prediction of negative endogenous P losses. These data demonstrated that regression analysis may have limitations when estimating the TIPD or TPR of corn when formulating diets with different Ca feeding strategies. More research is necessary to elucidate the factors that contributed to regression equations predicting negative endogenous P losses.

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