JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Effect of dietary nucleotide supplementation on performance and development of the gastrointestinal tract of broilers

B Jung, A B Batal
British Poultry Science 2012, 53 (1): 98-105
22404810
1. Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of dietary nucleotide supplementation on broiler performance, and physical and morphological development of the gastrointestinal tract. 2. Experiment 1: A total of 180 one-d-old male chicks were placed in battery brooders in 3 × 6 replicate pens containing 10 chicks each. Chicks were randomly assigned to one of the three dietary treatments; a maize-soyabean meal based diet supplemented with 0, 0·25, and 0·50% Torula yeast RNA (as a source of nucleotides) from 0 to 16 d of age. 3. Experiment 2: A total of 1344 one-d-old male chicks were placed in floor pens and reared on recycled wood shavings (two flocks) under a high stocking density (0·068 m(2)/bird). Chicks were randomly assigned to one of the 4 dietary treatments (0, 0·25% Torula yeast RNA, 2% and 6% Nupro®) for the starter period (0 to 14 d of age) with 6 replicate pens containing 56 chicks each. All the birds were fed on the same common grower diet with no supplementation of nucleotides from 15 to 32 d of age. 4. Experiment 1: Supplementing the diets with up to 0·50% Torula yeast RNA did not affect broiler performance, or relative intestinal tract weight and length of broilers at any periods measured. 5. Experiment 2: From 0 to 14 d of age, broilers fed on the diets supplemented with 0·25% Torula yeast RNA and 2 and 6% Nupro® were significantly heavier and had improved feed conversion (feed:gain) ratios as compared with the birds fed on the control diet. Supplementing the starter diet only with 2% Nupro® supplementation significantly improved body weight (BW) gain as compared with the control diet over the entire experiment (0 to 32 d of age). Broilers fed on the diets supplemented with 2 and 6% Nupro® from 0 to 14 d of age had better feed conversion (feed:gain) ratios over the entire experiment (0 to 32 d of age) as compared with the birds fed on the control diet, even though the birds were only fed on the diets supplemented with Nupro® from 0 to 14 d of age. The broilers fed on the diets supplemented with 0·25% Torula yeast RNA and 2% Nupro® had higher villus height and an improved villus height-to-crypt depth ratio as compared with birds fed on the control or 6% Nupro® diet at 14 d of age. 6. It is generally assumed that nucleotides are not an essential nutrient; thus there is no need to supplement the diets of broilers reared under normal conditions. However, dietary nucleotide supplementation may be important to maintain maximum growth performance when birds are exposed to stress conditions, such as high stocking density combined with dirty litter.

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