Strategic use of dietary electrolyte balance and ratio for broiler chickens
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The literature reports dealing with the dietary electrolyte ratio (K+Cl)/ Na are rare, although the concept has been proposed by Mongin in 1981. Thus, its application appears to be limited as a nutritional strategy in feed formulation, which usually meets only the minimum nutritional recommendations in Na, K and Cl. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of broilers submitted to different dietary electrolyte balances (DEB) Na+K-Cl and dietary electrolyte ratio (DER) from 1 to 21 d of age. A total of 1575 male 1-d old broiler chicks were randomly assigned to 5 treatments with 9 replicates of 35 chicks each. The treatments consisted of diets with 5 relation of electrolytes, arising from combinations DEB/DER 150/3, 250/2, 250/3, 250/4 and 350/3, with use of NaCl, NaHCO3, KCl, K2SO4 and CaCl2. All diets were corn-soybean meal based and formulated to meet or exceed the NRC (1994) requirements. Chicks had ad libitum access to feed and water in floor pens with wood shavings as litter. Body weight, feed intake and feed conversion ratio were measured at 21 d of age. It was found that only the feed conversion was significantly affected (P = 0.0142) by the combinations of relation of electrolytes (DEB and DER). The supplementation levels in DEB and DER were made to fit the data into a surface analysis to allow increasing levels of DEB (150–350 mEq/kg) and narrow and broad ratio of DER (2–4). For the canonical analysis of response surface was obtained the stationary point for body weight (DEB = 255.77 mEq/kg, and DER = 2.73:1) the value was 942.02 g; for feed intake (DEB = 251.69 mEq / kg and DER = 3.51:1), the value was 1200.02 g; and for feed conversion (DEB = 254.62 mEq/kg and DER = 3.06:1) the value was 1.35. The results of this experiment indicated that the best performance was obtained with combinations of relation of electrolytes for DEB between 251 and 255 mEq/kg and DER between 2.73:1 and 3.5:1.
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