Effects of a high dose of microbial phytase and myo-inositol supplementation on growth performance, tibia mineralization, nutrient digestibility, litter moisture content, and foot problems in broiler chickens fed phosphorus-deficient diets
A total of 660 one-day-old Ross 308 broiler chicks were randomly distributed into eleven dietary treatments. Treatments included a maize-soybean meal-based diet with recommended calcium (Ca) and non-phytate phosphorus (nPP) (positive control; PC), an nPP-deficient diet (negative control; NC), NC diets supplemented with different levels of phytase (0, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 5,000, and 6,000 FTU/kg), a NC diet plus 0.15% myo-inositol, and a NC diet with reduced Ca level (Ca to nPP ratio same as PC). Feeding the NC diet had no effects on birds' body weight (BW), weight gain (WG), feed intake (FI), and feed conversion ratio (FCR), but decreased (P < 0.05) tibia P contents, crude protein (CP) digestibility, and serum P, but increased (P < 0.05) serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity at 21 d of age. Phytase supplementation at ≥4,000 FTU/kg improved (P < 0.05) BW, WG and digestibility of nutrients. Feeding the NC diet resulted in greater (P < 0.05) litter moisture content (42 d) and poorer gait score (21 d), but 4,000 and 6,000 FTU/kg phytase returned (P < 0.05) these parameters to that of the PC. Supplemental myo-inositol increased (P < 0.05) serum total protein, P retention, and decreased (P < 0.05) litter moisture at 42 d of age. Feeding the low Ca NC diet increased (P < 0.05) serum total protein, ileum Ca, P, and CP digestibility and decreased serum ALP activity, litter moisture and gait score compared to the NC group. In conclusion, phytase in a dose-dependent manner, especially at ≥4,000 FTU/kg levels, was effective in overcoming the negative consequences of NC diets, primarily due to the ability to improve nutrient utilization. In addition, reducing the Ca level or supplementation of inositol of NC diet can correct some the negative effects of feeding a NC diet confirming the negative effect of a wide Ca: P ratio in a P-deficient diet and suggesting that inositol may play a role in the response to phytase addition.