Effects of Dietary Lysine and Microbial Phytase on Growth Performance and Nutrient Utilisation of Broiler Chickens

  • Selle, P.H. (Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney) ;
  • Ravindran, V. (Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University) ;
  • Ravindran, G. (Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University) ;
  • Bryden, W.L. (School of Animal Studies, University of Queensland)
  • Received : 2006.09.27
  • Accepted : 2007.04.03
  • Published : 2007.07.01


The effects of offering broilers phosphorus-adequate diets containing 10.0 and 11.8 g/kg lysine, without and with 500 FTU/kg exogenous phytase, on growth performance and nutrient utilisation were determined. Each of the four experimental diets was offered to 6 replicates of 10 birds from 7 to 28 days of age. Effects of treatment on performance, apparent metabolisable energy, apparent ileal digestibility of amino acids and bone mineralisation were examined. Both additional lysine and phytase supplementation improved (p<0.05) weight gain and feed efficiency, with interactions (p<0.05), as phytase responses were more pronounced in lysine-deficient diets. Phytase improved (p<0.05) apparent metabolisable energy, which was independent of the dietary lysine status. Bone mineralisation, as determined by percentage toe ash, was not affected by treatment, which confirms the phosphorus-adequate status of the diets. Phytase increased (p<0.05) the apparent ileal digestibility of the sixteen amino acids assessed. Unexpectedly, however, the dietary addition of 1.8 g/kg lysine, as lysine monohydrochloride, increased (p<0.05) the ileal digestibility of lysine per se and also that of isoleucine, methionine, phenylalanine, valine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid and tyrosine. In addition, there were significant interactions (p<0.05) between additional lysine and phytase supplementation for arginine, lysine, phenylalanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine and serine digestibilities, with the effects of phytase being more pronounced in lysine-deficient diets. The possible mechanisms underlying the increases in amino acid digestibility in response to additional lysine and the interactions between lysine and microbial phytase in this regard are discussed. Also, consideration is given to the way in which phytate and phytase may influence ileal digestibility of amino acids.


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