Growth performance and intestinal health of broilers fed a standard or low-protein diet with the addition of a protease
Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
We evaluated the effects of a protease supplementation on the growth performance and intestinal health of broilers. Cobb chicks (392; 1-42 d) were divided into four treatments (seven replicates of 14 birds each). There were two feed formulations: a standard diet (SD) and a low crude protein and digestible amino acids diet (Low CP&AA). The two diets were either supplemented (+P) or not (−P) with a protease (Jefo Protease; 1.25 g kg −1 ). Performance was evaluated by feeding phases (1-7, 8-21,
... 35, and 35-42 d). On day 28, ileum samples were analyzed by a morphometric index for histological alterations (I See Inside Scoring System -ISI). Broilers fed the Low CP&AA had a poor feed conversion ratio (FCR); however, the addition of the protease to the Low CP&AA positively affected FCR and body weight gain and promoted a performance similar to the group fed SD−P. Birds fed diets supplemented with the protease presented the best ISI morphological index, mainly as a result of the low number of alterations regarding the lamina propria, epithelial thickness, and enterocyte proliferation. It is possible to conclude that the enzyme improves feed conversion and lamina propria, epithelial thickness, and proliferation of enterocytes index of broiler chickens when added to a standard diet or with a low crude protein and digestible amino acids diet. How to cite: Cardinal, K. M.; Moraes, M. L.; Andretta, I.; Schirmann, G. D; Belote, B. L.; Barrios, M. A.; Santin, E. and Ribeiro, A. M. L. 2019. Growth performance and intestinal health of broilers fed a standard or low-protein diet with the addition of a protease. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 48:e20180232.