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Interactive effect of vitamin D and strontium on performance and bone composition in broiler chickens

Browning, L.C., Cowieson, A.J.
Animal feed science and technology 2015 v.205 pp. 107-115
ash content, body weight, broiler chickens, calcium, cholecalciferol, digestibility, feed intake, feed supplements, homeostasis, ileum, liveweight gain, magnesium, males, mortality, potassium, poultry feeding, sodium, strontium, tibia
Vitamin D and strontium have a close physiological interrelationship in respect to mineral homeostasis and skeletal integrity which is not well defined. To elucidate this relationship a total of 960-day-old male broiler chickens were fed for 40 days one of eight diets comprising of two levels of vitamin D3 (5000 or 10,000IU/kg) and four levels of strontium (0, 400, 800 or 1200mg/kg). Bodyweight gain, feed intake, bone composition and ileal nutrient digestibilities were analysed.All treatments improved BWG in excess of breed Ross 308 expectations and there was no statistical difference in overall performance between treatments. In the starter period, higher vitamin D3 interacted with the highest level of strontium supplementation to reduce BWG (P<0.05) and increase FCR (P<0.05). There was no change in percentage tibia ash content between treatments. Increasing concentrations of dietary strontium resulted in a reduced Ca content (P<0.01) and an increase in strontium (P<0.0001), Mg (P<0.01) and K content (P<0.05) of bone. The ileal digestibility of sodium was reduced in birds fed higher vitamin D3 with the highest level of strontium supplementation (P<0.05).There was no improvement in BWG or FCR by day 40 with higher levels of vitamin D3 and various levels of supplemental strontium however performance was negatively affected in the starter phase. Strontium supplementation in the presence of additional vitamin D3 altered tibia bone composition and reduced Na ileal digestibility. The ratio of 30:1 for calcium to sodium in bone was maintained across all treatments as did the total percentage content of calcium, sodium, strontium, potassium and magnesium at 43%. The higher level of vitamin D3 (10,000IU/kg) with no added strontium (0mg/kg) produced the heaviest BWG per bird by day 40 (3157g) however it was not statistically significant. The higher level of vitamin D3 significantly increased mortality. The feeding of lower doses of strontium and vitamin D3, particularly in the starter phase, requires further investigation.