Addition of a Worm Leachate as Source of Humic Substances in the Drinking Water of Broiler Chickens

  • Gomez-Rosales, S. (Faculty of Higher Studies Cuautitlan, UNAM) ;
  • Angeles, M. De L. (National Center of Disciplinary Research in Animal Physiology, National Institute of Research in Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock)
  • Received : 2014.04.30
  • Accepted : 2014.09.01
  • Published : 2015.02.01


The objective of this research was to evaluate the growth performance, the apparent ileal digestibility of nitrogen and energy, the retention of nutrients and the apparent metabolizable energy corrected to zero nitrogen retention (AMEn) in broiler chickens supplemented with increasing doses of a worm leachate (WL) as a source of humic substances (HS) in the drinking water. In Exp. 1, 140 male broilers were penned individually and assigned to four WL levels (0%, 10%, 20%, and 30%) mixed in the drinking water from 21 to 49 days of age. Water was offered in plastic bottles tied to the cage. In Exp. 2, 600 male broilers from 21 to 49 days of age housed in floor pens were assigned to three levels of WL (0%, 10%, and 20%) mixed in the drinking water. The WL was mixed with tap water in plastic containers connected by plastic tubing to bell drinkers. The results of both experiments were subjected to analysis of variance and polynomial contrasts. In Exp. 1, the daily water consumption was similar among treatments but the consumption of humic, fulvic, and total humic acids increased linearly (p<0.01) as the WL increased in the drinking water. The feed conversion (p<0.01) and the ileal digestibility of energy, the excretion of dry matter and energy, the retention of dry matter, ash and nitrogen and the AMEn showed quadratic responses (p<0.05) relative to the WL levels in drinking water. In Exp. 2, the increasing level of WL in the drinking water had quadratic effects on the final body weight, daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio (p<0.05). The addition of WL as a source of HS in the drinking water had beneficial effects on the growth performance, ileal digestibility of energy, the retention of nutrients as well on the AMEn in broiler chickens; the best results were observed when the WL was mixed at levels of 20% to 30% in the drinking water.


Broilers;Humic Substances;Production;Ileal Digestibility;Nutrient Balance


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