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Interactions between dietary Calcium and Phosphorus level, and Vitamin D source on bone mineralization, performance and intestinal morphology of coccidia-infected broilers

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Idiegberanoise Oikeh, Dr Panagiotis Sakkas, Professor Ilias Kyriazakis



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Oxford University Press, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Coccidiosis penalizes Calcium (Ca), Phosphorus (P) and fat-soluble vitamin status, as well as 19 bone mineralization in broiler chickens. We hypothesized that dietary vitamin D (VitD) 20 supplementation in the form of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (OHD), compared to cholecalciferol 21 (D3), would improve bone mineralization in broilers receiving marginally deficient Ca/P diets, 22 with more pronounced effects during malabsorptive coccidiosis. In a 2 VitD source × 2 Ca/P 23 levels × 2 levels of infection factorial experiment (n=6 pens per treatment, 6 birds/pen), Ross 24 308 broilers were assigned to an Aviagen-specified diet supplemented with 4000IU/kg of either 25 OHD or D3 between d11 to 24 of age. The diet contained adequate (A; 8.7:4.4g/kg) or 26 marginally deficient (M; 6.1:3.1g/kg) total Ca and available (av)P levels. At d12 of age, birds 27 were inoculated with water (C) or 7,000 Eimeria maxima oocysts (I). Pen performance was 28 measured over 12 days post-infection (pi). One bird per pen was assessed for parameters of 29 bone mineralization and intestinal histomorphometric features (d6 and 12pi), as well as E. 30 maxima replication and gross lesions of the small intestine (d6pi). There was no interaction 31 between infection status and Ca/avP level on bone mineralization. Bone breaking strength (BS), 32 ash weight (AW) and ash percentage (AP) were highest in broilers fed the OHD-supplemented 33 A diets irrespective of infection status. E. maxima infection impaired (P < 0.05) ADG and FCR 34 pi; Ca and P status at d6pi; OHD status, BS, AW and AP at d12pi; and intestinal morphology 35 at d6 and 12pi. A- compared to M-fed broilers had higher BS, AW and AP at d6pi, and AW at 36 d12pi. VitD source affected only OHD status, being higher (P < 0.001) for OHD- than D3-fed 37 broilers at d6 and 12pi. In conclusion, offering OHD and adequate levels of Ca and P improved 38 bone mineralization, with no effect on performance. Dietary D3 and OHD supplemented at 39 4000IU/kg had similar effects on coccidiosis-infected and uninfected broilers, which led to the 40 rejection of our hypothesis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Oikeh I, Sakkas P, Blake DP, Kyriazakis I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Poultry Science

Year: 2019

Volume: 98

Issue: 11

Pages: 5679-5690

Print publication date: 01/11/2019

Online publication date: 21/06/2019

Acceptance date: 22/05/2019

Date deposited: 22/05/2019

ISSN (print): 0032-5791

ISSN (electronic): 1525-3171

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.3382/ps/pez350


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