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The effect of dietary potassium and sodium on performance, carcass traits, and nitrogen balance and excreta moisture in broiler chicken

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The aim of the 3 × 3 factorial experiment on broilers was to investigate the effect of high dietary levels of potassium (K) and different levels of sodium (Na) on chicken performance, carcass traits, dry matter content in excreta and nitrogen
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   Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences, 19, 2010, 244–256  *  Supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Project No. N311 0347 34 (2261.5) 1 Corresponding author: e-mail: jkoreles@izoo.krakow.pl The effect of dietary potassium and sodium on  performance, carcass traits, and nitrogen balance and excreta moisture in broiler chicken * J. Koreleski 1 , S. Świątkiewicz and A. Arczewska  National Research Institute of Animal Production, Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science32-083 Balice, Poland  (Received 20 July 2009; revised version 3 March 2010; accepted 7 May 2010)ABSTRACTThe aim of the 3 × 3 factorial experiment on broilers was to investigate the effect of high dietary levels of potassium (K) and different levels of sodium (Na) on chicken performance, carcass traits, dry matter content in excreta and nitrogen balance. Three hundred and sixty one-day-old Ross 308 chickens were allocated to 9 groups, in 5 replicates of 8 (4♂ and 4♀). Chickens from 1 to 42 days old were kept in cages with wire oors to enable excreta collection, and were provided with water and feed ad libitum . The basal starter (days 1-14) and grower (days15-42) diets contained, as analysed, 1.73 g and 1.89 g·kg -1  chloride (Cl), 10.7 g and 10.8 g K and 0.69 and 0.94 g Na, respectively. Basal diets were supplemented with cations containing, as analysed, 12.2/11.8 g and 12.7/12.5 g·kg -1  K and 1.22/1.25 g and 1.68/1.61 g·kg -1  Na, for the starter/grower periods of feeding, respectively. The molar proportion of Na:K in diets used in the experiment ranged from 0.09 to 0.27 in the starter diet and from 0.13 to 0.25 in the grower/nisher diet; the dietary electrolyte balance (DEB) values varied between 255 to 349 and 264 to 336, respectively. During the starter feeding period, body weight gain (BWG), feed intake (FI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) in the chickens were positively affected by increasing the Na supplement. Throughout the feeding period, Na supplementation improved BWG, FI and FCR and production index values and increased carcass yield. The dry matter content of the excreta was negatively affected by the K level in the diet; the 12.7 g K dietary content, in particular, caused a higher moisture content.   245KORELESKI J. ET AL. The daily intake of nitrogen and nitrogen excretion grew when the dietary Na level was increased from 0.94 to 1.25 or 1.61 g·kg -1 . The proportion of N retained to N intake decreased signicantly when the dietary level of Na reached 1.61 g·kg -1 ,   as compared to the proportion at a level of 0.94 g  Na·kg -1 . Interaction between dietary Na and K levels for BWG and other indices of performance, and for nitrogen utilization, conrm a dietary reciprocal relationship for both electrolytes.   KEY WORDS: broiler chicken, potassium, sodium, dietary electrolyte balance, N-balance,  performance, excreta INTRODUCTIONBroiler diets based on plant components usually contain more potassium than diets including animal srcinated by-products. This is a result of high K content of  plant protein sources and prohibited meat meals in feeding of poultry. NRC (1994) requirements for K in broilers are 3.0 g · kg -1 for both periods of feeding. More recently, the requirements for K in chickens for the periods of 8-21 and 22-42 days old are for a body weight gain of 6.28 and 7.14 g . kg -1 , respectively (Oliveira et al., 2005). Plant diets which markedly exceeded these levels of K may change the dietary electrolyte balance (DEB) and increase water intake and excreta moisture (Vieira and Lima, 2005). According to Mongin (1981), the DEB value, i.e. the difference between the sum of positive cations (Na + + K  + ) and negative anion (Cl - ) equivalents, in the diet is of great importance at high ambient temperature and as regards the heat stress undergone by chickens in hot parts of the world. Even in moderate climates however, there may well be several weeks of very hot weather each year. The Mongin electrolyte balance refers to dietary K  + , Na +  and Cl -  at levels covering the nutritional requirements for chicken. It is not unlikely however that at a K content much higher than required in the diet, excreta humidity prevention and correction of DEB values may complicate reciprocal electrolyte proportions.For diets with a higher content of K, a question could be posed regarding the required levels of Na and Cl. Using Cl adequate diets, Johnson and Karunajeewa (1985) found that for optimum growth rate equivalents, the Na:K ratio in the  broiler diet should not be allowed to fall below 0.5, or to rise above 1.8. This paper investigates chicken performance, slaughter indices, dry matter content in excreta, and nitrogen balance (in order to conrm the performance and slaughter indices) in broilers fed high K and Na supplemented plant diets with a moderate and constant Cl content. The very low or adequate content of Na gives dietary electrolyte balance values from 255 to 349. The molar Na:K ratio in this study fell to 0.09-0.27, markedly below levels recommended by Johnson and Karunajeewa (1985) because of high dietary K content.  246 DIETARY K AND Na – BROILER PERFORMANCE MATERIAL AND METHODSThe Local Krakow Ethics Committee for Experiments with Animals approved all experimental procedures relating to the use of live animals. The trial was conducted during summer time with 360 Ross 308 broiler chickens of initial 40 g average body weight allocated to 9 groups in 5 replicates of 8 (4♂ and 4♀). Chickens from 1 to 42 days old were kept in cages with wire oors to enable excreta collection and were provided with water and feed ad libitum . The basal starter (days 1-14) and grower (days 15-42) diets (Table 1) were of the grain-soyabean meal type (without animal srcinated meals), and contained   chloride at a moderate level of 1.73 g and 1.89 g · kg -1 , respectively. The natural K level in the basal diet was relatively high, and was even enlarged by K salt additives. A 3 x 3 factorial arrangement, with three dietary levels of K and three levels of Na, was used. The diets were either supplemented with K hydrogen   Table 1. Composition of basal diets, g ·kg -1 ItemStarter diet1-14 daysGrower–nisher diet15-42 days Component   maize (grinded) 565.01 602.79 soyabean meal 369 320 rapeseed oil 25 36 limestone17.4 17.53 monocalcium phosphate14.4 13.05 NaCl 1.37 2.04  NH 4 Cl 0.51 0.54 DL-methionine (99%) 2.31 2.12 L-lysine HCl (78%) - 0.93 vitamin-mineral premix 1  5.0 5.0  Nutrients content in basal diet,  g  g  · kg  -1 crude protein 2   220 203ME, MJ 3  12.5 13.0 Lys 12.0 11.5Met 5.5 5.2 Ca 9.4 9.2P available 4.3 4.0K  2  10.72 10.80  Na 2  0.69 0.94Cl 2  1.73 1.89 1  supplied to 1 kg of starter diet, IU: vit. A 13 500, vit. D 3  3 500; mg: vit. E 45, K  3 3, B 1  3.25, B 2  7.5, B 6  5, B 12  0.0325, biotin 0.15, Ca-pantotenate 15, niacine 45, folic acid 1.5, choline-Cl 600, Mn 100, Zn 75, Fe 67.5, Cu 17.5, J 1, Se 0.275, Co 0.4; to 1 kg of grower-nisher diet, IU: vit. A 12 000; mg: vit. E 40, K  3 2.25, B 1  2, B 2  7.25, B 6  4.25, B 12  0.03, biotin 0.1, Ca-pantotenate 12, niacine 40, folic acid 1.0, choline-Cl 450, Mn 100, Zn 65, Fe 65, Cu 15, J 0.8, Se 0.25, Co 0.4; 2  analysed; 3  calculated according to European Table... (1989) as a sum of the ME content of diet components   247KORELESKI J. ET AL.carbonate (KHCO 3 ) and Na hydrogen carbonate (NaHCO 3 ), or remained non supplemented, in order to contain, as analysed: 10.7/10.8 g, 12.2/11.8 g and 12.7/12.5 g · kg -1  K and 0.69/0.94 g, 1.22/1.25 g and 1.68/1.61 g · kg -1  Na, for the starter/grower feeding periods, respectively (Table 2). The K and Na content was analysed by atomic absorption spectrometry (ISO6869:2000). The Cl content was calculated from water soluble Cl, estimated by Volhard’s silver nitrate titration method (1874). Table 2. Scheme of dietary electrolyte balance values DEB, mEq·kg -1  in diets K level in the diet, g·kg -1    Na level in the diet, g·kg  -1  , 1-14 days 0.69 (Na + VL)1.22 (Na + L)1.68 (Na + A)10.725527829812.229331633612.7306329349K level in the diet, g·kg -1    Na level in the diet, g  · kg  -1  , 15-42 days 0.94 (Na + VL)1.25 (Na + L)1.61 (Na + A)10.826427729311.829130432012.5307321336 The body weight (BW) and feed intake (FI) in the chickens were measured and mortality was registered. Body weight gain (BWG), feed conversion ratio (FCR) were calculated for the starter period, the grower period and the entire feeding  period. The production index (PI) was calculated for entire feeding period: PI = [body weight (kg) × survival (%) / age (42 d.) × FCE (kg)] × 100 At 13 and 41 days old, samples of excreta were collected from the dropping tray immediately after excretion, hermetically packed and analysed for dry matter (DM) content (AOAC, 1990).During the rst 5 days of the chickens’ 4 th  week the feed consumed was measured and a total collection of excreta on droppings trays from 5 replicates of 8 chickens in each group was carried out. Feathers were removed from excreta trays and the excreta was weighted each day and stored at -20 o C. At the end of  balance estimation, after thawing, the excreta were weighted again, homogenized and representative samples for the analysis of nitrogen content were taken. N contents in diets and in excreta were estimated by the Kjeldahl method (AOAC, 1990), using Kjeltec Auto 1030, Tecator. N-balance indices were calculated taking into account amounts of N ingested and N excreted (Becker and Harnish, 1958). At the end of the experiment and after 12 h of starvation all chickens were weighed and 4 representative cockerels and 4 hens were chosen from each group with live body weights close to the group average, marked with number signs and  248 DIETARY K AND Na – BROILER PERFORMANCE decapitated. Chickens were ploughed, the intestines and crop were removed and carcasses stored overnight in 4 o C. The mass of the cooled carcasses with edible giblets (gizzard, liver, heart) were estimated and carcass yield calculated (Ziołecki and Doruchowski, 1989). The breast muscles and abdominal fat and livers and hearts were excised and weighted. The breast muscles and abdominal fat contents were expressed as % in carcass. The relative weight of liver and heart as % of liveweight were calculated.The data were subjected to a two-way factorial analysis of variance. The signicance of differences between means was determined by Duncan’s multiple range test and differences were considered signicant at P≤0.05. Statistical analyses were performed using Statistica 5.0 PL software (Statsoft Inc.).RESULTSAs compared to broiler requirements, the dietary Na levels used in this experiment (Tables 1 and 2) were very low (Na + VL), low (Na + L) or adequate (Na + A).During the starter feeding period, the BWG, FI and FCR in chickens were  positively affected by increasing the Na supplement (P≤0.001), whereas the effect on performance of increasing the K level in the diet was small and statistically not signicant (Table 3). Similar effects were observed in the grower feeding  period (Table 3), but at that time, the increasing level of K signicantly decreased the chicken’s BWG. The experimental factors had no effect on the mortality throughout the feeding period (Table 3), but Na supplementation improved BWG, FI, FCR and PI values (P≤0.001). Signicant interaction (P≤0.001) may conrm the relation of K and Na dietary level in the case of BWG and feed intake. The highest BWG values, the largest FI and the best FCR in the rst feeding period were observed in chickens fed diets containing higher K  + , Na + L and Na + A content and with DEB values from 329 to 336 (Table 2). The molar proportion of Na:K in the diets used in the experiment ranged from 0.09 to 0.27 in the starter diet and from 0.13 to 0.25 in the grower/nisher one.
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