Evaluation of the effect of different wheats and xylanase supplementation on performance, nutrition and energy utilisation in broiler chicks

G Gonzalez-Ortiz, OA Olukosi, MR Bedford

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance, nutrient utilisation and energy metabolism of broiler chicks fed eight different wheat samples, supplemented or not with xylanase. Seven-hundred sixty eight male broilers (1-day old) were distributed to 16 experimental treatments (six replicates per treatment). The treatments were in a factorial arrangement with eight different wheats and two levels of xylanase (0 or 16,000 BXU/kg). The predicted apparent metabolisable energy (AME) of the wheat samples ranged from 13.0 and 13.9 MJ/kg and all diets were formulated to contain the same amount of wheat. Body weight gain (BWG) and feed intake (FI) were measured at 21 d, as was jejunal digesta viscosity, and feed conversion ratio (FCR) calculated. On day 24, one representative bird pen was selected to calculate whole body energetics. At 21 d, three chicks per replicate were randomly allocated to metabolism cages for energy and nutrient utilisation determinations, and were continued on the experimental diets until 24-d-old. No interactions were observed for any performance response variables, ileal nutrient utilisation or digesta viscosity. Xylanase improved BWG and reduced FCR and digesta viscosity (P < 0.05). Wheat influenced dry matter (DM) utilisation and xylanase increased ileal digestible energy (P = 0.04). Xylanase also improved (P < 0.05) DM and nitrogen retention. Apparent metabolisable energy and AME corrected for nitrogen (AMEn) were subject to an interaction whereby wheats 2 and 6, which returned the lowest AME and AMEn values, responded to xylanase supplementation and the remainder did not. Net energy for production and the efficiency of energy use for production were not influenced by xylanase, but were affected by wheat (P < 0.05). Despite the significant differences between wheats with regards to their nutrient utilisation and energy metabolism in birds, xylanase removed this variance and resulted in more homogeneous performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3 - 7
Number of pages5
JournalAnimal Nutrition
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jul 2016
Publication statusFirst published - 1 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note



  • Animal performance
  • Broiler chickens
  • Energy
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Nutrient release
  • Wheat
  • Xylanase


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