The aim of the study was to observe the effects of dietary available phosphorus (aP) and calcium (Ca), with regular or super doses of phytase, on phytate hydrolysis and subsequent influences on broiler growth performance and nutrient utilization. In a 2 × 3 factorial design, 384 Ross-308 broilers were allocated to one of 6 dietary treatments with 8 replicates in a randomized complete block design for 21 days. Diets were nutritionally adequate (positive control, PC) or marginally deficient in aP and Ca (negative control, NC), with 0, 500 or 1,500 FTU/kg phytase. Bird and feed weights were recorded on d 0 and 21, excreta were collected on d 19 and 20, and gizzard and ileal contents were collected on d 21. Body weight gain (P < 0.01) increased linearly with phytase in the PC and quadratically in the NC. There was an interactive effect on ileal DM, N, and P utilization, increasing quadratically with phytase supplementation in the NC, but there was no phytase influence in the PC (P < 0.05). Phytase linearly increased copper (P < 0.001) and linearly decreased Ca (P < 0.05) utilization in the ileum. Phytase decreased ileal (IPx, inositol x-phosphate) IP6 and IP5 and increased inositol (quadratic, P < 0.001) but had no effect on IP4 or IP3. The influence of the dietary aP was more apparent on the hydrolysis of phytate and phytate esters after the ileum, with increasing (linear and quadratic, P < 0.05) IP4 and IP3 content in the excreta of birds fed the NC or PC when phytase was added. Phytate hydrolysis improves the growth potential of birds fed NC diets, allowing them to match the growth performance of birds fed PC diets and improve nutrient utilization. These results indicate that dietary Ca and aP concentrations can be reduced when phytase is supplemented. It also may be beneficial to apply the enzyme nutrient matrix to other nutrients in the diet to maintain an optimal balance of nutrients in the digesta.