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Effects of Low-Protein Diets and Exogenous Protease on Growth Performance, Carcass Traits, Intestinal Morphology, Cecal Volatile Fatty Acids and Serum Parameters in Broilers

Department of Animal Science and Technology, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Korea
SOLTON Biochem Inc., Seocho-gu, Seoul 06691, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(5), 226;
Received: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Poultry Production Systems)
To maintain sustainability, the poultry production industry uses low-protein diets to minimize the potential for environmental pollution from nitrogen waste. However, reducing dietary crude protein may compromise the performance and health of the chickens. Thus, strategies using crystalline amino acids or exogenous protease added to the low-protein diets, the latter being the more recent trend, have been common practice in the industry, in order to meet the ever-increasing demand for poultry meat in the most sustainable way possible. In the present study, we evaluated a novel protease, produced by the bacterial species Bacillus clausii isolated from the body fluid of a polychaete (Periserrula leucophryna) found only in Korean waters, as an additive in broiler chickens fed the low-protein diets. We found that dietary protease improved growth performance in these broiler chickens.
Dietary exogenous proteases (ENZ) can be used in poultry production to improve the growth of chickens fed low-protein (LP) diets. We hypothesized that ENZ supplemented in an LP diet would improve growth performance and physiological response in broilers for 8–35 days. To investigate this, we used a 2 × 2 factorial design with crude protein (CP, normal diet (NP) and LP) and ENZ. The LP diet contained low in 1% CP and ca. 8–12% amino acids compared to the NP diet and both NP and LP diets were added without or with (1 g/kg of diet) ENZ. We randomly allocated 720 1-week-old Ross 308 male chicks to 48 pens and experimental diets. At 21 days, dietary ENZ, but not CP, increased (p = 0.007) live body weight. Body weight gain from 8–21 days was affected (p = 0.006) by dietary ENZ, but was not affected (p = 0.210) by CP. The feed conversion ratio was affected by both CP and ENZ during the starter period (p < 0.05), by ENZ (p = 0.034) during the finisher period, and by CP (p < 0.001) during the whole period. However, the interaction between CP and ENZ did not significantly affect growth performance (p > 0.05). Dietary ENZ increased (p = 0.013) the relative weight of liver at 21 days. CP and ENZ affected (p = 0.043) total short-chain fatty acids at 21 days. However, this effect was not seen (p = 0.888) at 35 days. Dietary CP increased (p < 0.05) the serum concentrations of both uric acid and creatinine in broilers. We concluded that dietary ENZ is more beneficial to younger broilers, independent of CP levels, and that its effect was restricted to body weight and the feed conversion ratio. View Full-Text
Keywords: broiler chickens; exogenous protease; low-protein diet; growth performance broiler chickens; exogenous protease; low-protein diet; growth performance
MDPI and ACS Style

Ndazigaruye, G.; Kim, D.-H.; Kang, C.-W.; Kang, K.-R.; Joo, Y.-J.; Lee, S.-R.; Lee, K.-W. Effects of Low-Protein Diets and Exogenous Protease on Growth Performance, Carcass Traits, Intestinal Morphology, Cecal Volatile Fatty Acids and Serum Parameters in Broilers. Animals 2019, 9, 226.

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