Variability of prececal phosphorus digestibility of triticale and wheat in broiler chickens

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the P digestibility of different wheat and triticale genotypes in growing broiler chickens. Additionally, the relationships between physical or chemical properties of genotypes and P digestibility were determined. A low P, low Ca basal diet based on cornstarch and soybean meal was supplemented with 20% or 40% of 8 different wheat or triticale genotypes at the expense of cornstarch. Experimental diets were fed to broilers between d 20 and 26 of age before digesta samples were collected from their lower ileum for determination of prececal P digestibility (pcdP). Triticale-based diets had an average pcdP of 54%. Neither the concentration of triticale nor the genotype itself affected the pcdP of diets. The pcdP of triticale genotypes calculated by linear regression analysis ranged from 53% to 78%. No correlations were found between physical or chemical properties (viscosity, phytase activity, total and phytate P contents) and the pcdP of triticale genotypes. In contrast, a significant (P < 0.05) effect of genotype and wheat concentration was observed in wheat-based diets. The average pcdP of diets decreased from 60% to 50% by increasing the wheat concentration from 20% to 40%. As no linear relationship was observed between P intake and the amount of pcdP in the diet, the pcdP (%) of wheat genotypes was calculated separately for both concentrations, and accounted for 38% to 67% and 20% to 38% with 20% and 40% wheat inclusion in diets, respectively. Single chemical and physical characteristics could not explain the observed differences in P digestibility. Our results revealed a high variation in the pcdP of different wheat and triticale genotypes that should be considered in diet formulation. However, further research is needed to identify factors that contribute to variation of P digestibility in both grains.

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