Efficacy and stability of a novel silica supplement for improving bone development in broilers

Burton, E.J. ORCID: 0000-0003-2784-6922, Scholey, D.V. ORCID: 0000-0003-2450-5989, Belton, D.J., Bedford, M.R. and Perry, C.C. ORCID: 0000-0003-1517-468X, 2020. Efficacy and stability of a novel silica supplement for improving bone development in broilers. British Poultry Science. ISSN 0007-1668 (Forthcoming)

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1. The essentiality of silicon for skeletal development is established but the adequacy of bioavailable silicon supply in broiler diets has not been considered for 30 years, despite average daily weight gain of birds increasing by almost a third over that time. Therefore, two studies were undertaken to investigate whether modern strains of broiler chicken benefit from diet supplementation with bioavailable silica.

2. Trial 1 was a 2*2*2 factorial study where 6 replicate pens of 7 chicks were fed one of eight freshly prepared diets from hatch to 21 days of age with bird bodyweight gain and feed intake recorded weekly. Diets combined the following factors: silicon supplement fed at 0 ppm or 1000 ppm, phytase levels of either 0 FTU/kg or 1500 FTU/kg and either 0.6 or 0.7% Ca. Tibia were analysed for bone breaking strength, extent of tibial dischondroplasia and feet measured for bone ash and pododermatitis score.

3. Trial 2 used a 0.7% Ca with 1500 FTU phytase diet as the control and compared this with the same diet containing either 1000 ppm silicon freshly added each week or 1000 ppm silicon added in a single, advance-prepared batch per feeding phase. Each diet was fed to 9 pens of 7 birds from d0-35 with feed eaten and bird weight recorded weekly. Two birds per pen were euthanised on d14, 21 and 35 and tibias collected for measurement of bone breaking strength, ash and mineral content and serum collected for Si content.

4. Univariate analysis of means from each trial showed that silica supplementation improved 44 bird weight gain over the starter phase, though there was no effect on feed conversion.

5. Bone strength improved with added silica in both studies without affecting bone mineral content; indicating that modern strains of broiler may require dietary supplementation with bioavailable silicon.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: British Poultry Science
Creators: Burton, E.J., Scholey, D.V., Belton, D.J., Bedford, M.R. and Perry, C.C.
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Date: 6 June 2020
ISSN: 0007-1668
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 09 Jun 2020 14:30
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2020 14:30
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/39948

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