Authors: IOANNIS NIKOLAKAKIS, VASSILIS DOTAS, ANASTASIOS KARGOPOULOS, LAMPROS HATZIZISIS, DIMITRIS DOTAS, ZAFIRIS AMPAS
Abstract: This work was conducted to study the effect of dietary supplementation with natural zeolite on the performance and litter quality of broilers. In a randomized complete block experimental design, 480-day-old Cobb-500 broilers were divided into 4 treatments with 4 replicates each and 30 chicks per replicate. The dietary treatments consisted of a control wheat-corn-soybean meal diet (C) and 3 others contained 1.0%, 2.0%, or 3.0% zeolite for Z_1, Z_2, and Z_3 treatments, respectively. Feed intake was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in Z_1, Z_2, and Z_3 treatments as compared to the control diet. Compared to the control, diets containing 2% and 3% of zeolite showed a significant (P < 0.05) increase in body weight gain and feed conversion ratio for the total period. The dietary addition of zeolite significantly (P < 0.05) decreased the organic content in litter samples throughout the experimental period. The results of this study showed that the dietary addition of natural zeolite at inclusion rates of 2% and 3% had a positive effect on feed conversion ratio, body weight gain, and litter quality of broilers.
Keywords: Broilers, zeolite, performance, litter quality
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