Effects of Dietary Octacosanol on Growth Performance, Carcass Characteristics and Meat Quality of Broiler Chicks

L Long, S G Wu, F Yuan, J Wang, H J Zhang, G H Qi
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2016, 29 (10): 1470-6
Octacosanol, which has prominent physiological activities and functions, has been recognized as a potential growth promoter in animals. A total of 392 1-d-old male Arbor Acres broiler chicks with similar body weight were randomly distributed into four dietary groups of seven replicates with 14 birds each supplemented with 0, 12, 24, or 36 mg octacosanol (extracted from rice bran, purity >92%)/kg feed. The feeding trial lasted for six weeks and was divided into the starter (day 1 to 21) and the grower (day 22 to 42) phases. The results showed that the feed conversion ratio (FCR) was significantly improved in broilers fed a diet containing 24 mg/kg octacosanol compared with those fed the control diet in the overall phase (day 1 to 42, p = 0.042). The average daily gain and FCR both showed linear effects in response to dietary supplementation of octacosanol during the overall phase (p = 0.031 and 0.018, respectively). Broilers fed with 24 or 36 mg/kg octacosanol diet showed a higher eviscerated yield, which increased by 5.88% and 4.26% respectively, than those fed the control diet (p = 0.030). The breast muscle yield of broilers fed with 24 mg/kg octacosanol diet increased significantly by 12.15% compared with those fed the control diet (p = 0.047). Eviscerated and breast muscle yield increased linearly with the increase in dietary octacosanol supplementation (p = 0.013 and 0.021, respectively). Broilers fed with 24 or 36 mg/kg octacosanol diet had a greater (p = 0.021) pH45min value in the breast muscle, which was maintained linearly in response to dietary octacosanol supplementation (p = 0.003). There was a significant decrease (p = 0.007) in drip loss value between the octacosanol-added and the control groups. The drip loss showed linear (p = 0.004) and quadratic (p = 0.041) responses with dietary supplementation of octacosanol. These studies indicate that octacosanol is a potentially effective and safe feed additive which may improve feed efficiency and meat quality, and increase eviscerated and breast muscle yield, in broiler chicks. Dietary supplementation of octacosanol at 24 mg/kg diet is regarded as the recommended dosage in the broilers' diet.

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