Effects of High Dietary Calcium and Fat Levels on the Performance, Intestinal pH, Body Composition and Size and Weight of Organs in Growing Chickens

  • Shafey, T.M. (Department of Animal Production, College of Agriculture, University of King Saud)
  • Received : 1998.02.28
  • Accepted : 1998.06.16
  • Published : 1999.01.01


The effect of fat supplementation of high calcium (Ca) diets on the performance, intestinal pH, body composition and size and weight of organs in growing chickens were investigated in two experiments. Growing chickens tolerated a high dietary level of Ca (22.5 vs 12.1 g/kg) in the presence of 6.3 g/kg of available phosphorus without any significant effect on performance. Intestinal pH was significantly increased by the addition of excess Ca and fat which probably created the right pH for the formation of insoluble Ca soaps. Excess dietary Ca increased carcass linoleic acid concentration at the expense of palmitic and stearic acid contents, whilst the addition of sunflower oil (80 g/kg diet) to the diet increased carcass linoleic acid concentration at the expense of palmitic acid content of the carcass. Intestinal and visceral organ size and weight were not influenced by excess Ca or fat. However, there was a non significant increase in the intestinal dry weight per unit of length caused by excess dietary Ca. It was concluded that excess dietary Ca of 22.5 g/kg did not significantly influence the performance of meat chickens. However, excess Ca increased intestinal pH and altered carcass fatty acid composition. Fat supplementation did not alter intestinal pH with high Ca diets. Excess dietary fat altered carcass fatty acid composition and reduced protein content. Intestinal and visceral organ size and weights were not influenced by excess dietary levels of Ca of fat.


Meat Chickens;Calcium;Fat;Body;Composition;Intestinal pH;Intestinal Thickness

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