This study investigated usage of kaolin and zeolite in broiler diet on litter moisture, pH, nitrogen, ash, calcium and phosphorus content. 320 one-day-old male Ross 308 broiler chickens were arranged in a completely randomized design experiment and randomly allocated into five dietary treatments with 64 birds per treatment. The birds in each treatment were further divided into four replicates with sixteen chickens and were reared to 42 days. A corn-soybean meal basal diet supplemented with 0, 15 and 30 g/kg kaolin and zeolite. moisture content of litter on day 42 and nitrogen content of litter on days 14 and 42 were significantly lower in treatments containing 30 g/kg kaolin and zeolite (p<0.05) compared to control treatment. The Ca content of litter on day 14 and day 28 in diet with 30 g/kg zeolite decreased significantly compared to control diet (p<0.05). In the, pH, ash and phosphorus content of litter there were no significant differences between dietary treatments and control (p>0.05). The results suggest that supplementation of kaolin and zeolite in broiler diet can be effective on improve litter quality.
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Key Words: Kaolin; zeolite; litter quality; feed; broiler
The poultry industry growing fastest during last decades because demand for poultry meat increased in the world. This industry is facing of some environmental issues that major problem is the reposition of high amount of wastes, especially manure and litter. Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) content in poultry waste has long been recognized as a significant environmental problem in poultry industry (Kelleher et al., 2002 and Bolan et al., 2010). In practice, one of the main concerns of poultry industry is the control of litter quality, various researcher efforts to find methods to decrease the pollutants spread from poultry farms. The result of researches showed, important ways that could modify the quality of poultry litter is nutritional aspects and using various additives to litter (Moore et al, 1996; Francesch and Brufau, 2004; Karamanlis et al., 2008).
Kaolin and zeolite contain a stable structure and by absorbing and losing of water maintain their structure. Therefore, they can use as feed additives in broiler diet to improve broiler performance and by keeping their structure can egress from digestive tract and insert to the litter and influence on the litter quality and assist to improve broiler house environment (Shariatmadari, 2008; Safaeikatouli et al., 2010).
The consideration that chicks ceaselessly are in contacts with litter, the quality of the litter could important affect on the growth performance and health of broiler chicks (Billgilli et al., 1999). According to temperature, moisture content, and pH of the litter, a part of NH4+ may be turned into NH3 (Shah et al., 2007). Pourreza et al., (2004) suggested that litter Additives can be used to decrease litter pH, nitrogen and soluble P. The adsorption properties of zeolite and kaolin have been widely used to struggle litter problems. Several studies reported that zeolite can be effective to improve of litter condition (Cabuk et al., 2004; Eleroglu and Yalcin, 2005 and Tatar et al., 2012). Kithome et al. (1999) and Turan, (2008) reported that zeolite was suitable for decreasing nitrogen losses (NH3) during composting of poultry manure. Oliver (1997) and Safaeikatouli et al., (2012b) declared that exchange and absorption properties of zeolite increase digestibility of N in diet and also control the moisture content of manure.
This study was performed to evaluate the effects of inclusion kaolin and zeolite in broiler diet on litter quality; specifically, experiment was designed to determine the effects of kaolin and zeolite on content of moisture, pH, nitrogen (N), ash, calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) in broiler litter.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A total 320 one-day-old male Ross 308 broiler chickens were arranged in a completely randomized design experiment and randomly allocated into five dietary treatments with 64 birds per treatment. The birds in each treatment were further divided into four replicates with sixteen chickens and housed in pens of identical size in a deep litter system with paper roll floor. Light was provided 24 h continuously with overhead incandescent lighting during the 42 day period of the experiment. The room was thermostatically controlled with temperatures maintained at 32Â°C for the first week and a three degree reduction in temperature every week afterwards. The birds were given an anti-stress agent from the first day of age and before, during and after the vaccinations. In order to raise their control pathogens due to their antimicrobial activity immunity they were vaccinated against bronchitis on days 1 and 9, Newcastle disease was done on day 9 and for Gumboro disease on days 15 and 21 of the experiment. The kaolin and zeolite used in this study were excellent processing to decrease metal oxide content and the chemical composition of them is demonstrated in Table 1.
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The dietary treatments were: 1. control (diet without kaolin and zeolite), 2. diet inclusion 15 g/kg kaolin, 3. diet inclusion 30 g/kg kaolin, 4. diet inclusion 15 g/kg zeolite and 5. diet inclusion 30 g/kg zeolite. The chicks were fed a commercial feed starter (corn and soybean based), contained 20.85% crude protein (CP), 2900 kcal ME/kg, 0.91% calcium and 0.41% available phosphorus which fed to broilers up to 21 days. The grower diets contained 18.75% CP, 3000 kcal ME/kg, 0.84% calcium and 0.33% available phosphorus which fed to broilers up to 42 days. All of the experimental diets during starter and grower periods were isonitrogenic and isocaloric, and chicks were allowed access to the diets and water ad libitum.
Five litter samples were obtained at days 14, 28 and 42 from each pen from the same area from which the moisture, pH, nitrogen (N), ash, calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) concentration were measured. Litter samples were taken by removing the first 10 mm of the exposed surface after the top layer had been removed from centre and four corners of each pen. The samples for each pen mixed and homogenized to make one sample and were refrigerated until it was transferred to the laboratory for analyses. Moisture content of samples was determined by placing them in an oven 105Â°C for 24 h until achieves a constant weight. Litter pH content was measured at days 14, 28 and 42 of experiment by using a pH meter (Model WTW-720 Inolab., Germany). The milled samples were then analyzed for N and ash contents using the procedures described by the AOAC (2005). The percentages of litter calcium and phosphorus were determined by colorimetric and spectrophotometric, respectively according to AOAC (2005) methods.
The results of every determination were analyzed using the general linear model procedure of the SAS (SAS Institute, 2003). Duncanâ€™s multiple range test was used to compare significant means and the level of differences were considered significant at p<0.05 (Duncan, 1955).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The effects of experimental treatments on litter moisture and pH are given in Table 2. Litter moisture content did not differ significantly (p>0.05) between treatments on days 14 and 28, whereas at day 42 litter moisture in diet containing 30 g/kg kaolin and zeolite reduced significantly (p<0.05) compared to control diet. These results are in agreement with previous studies in that silicate minerals significantly reduced litter moisture content in broiler chickens houses (Kiaei et al., 2002; Karamanlis et al., 2008 and Tatar et al., 2012). Aluminosilicates have a high capacity for swelling and absorbing water and ammonia, and can improve litter condition (Ramos et al., 1996). Litter moisture plays an important role in litter quality and in a broiler house with correctly managed, litter moisture normally averages between 20 to 35 percent. Increasing the litter moisture content and temperature are two main factors that enhance ammonia volatilization from broiler litter (Miles et al., 2011). Butcher and Miles, (2012) declared that well managed litter and kept moisture content within the admitted range can be reduced disease or other production problems. The litter pH content in treatments with kaolin and zeolite in days 28 and 42 of experiment decreased compared to control treatment, but these differences were not statistically significant (p>0.05). Significant differences in pH content of the broiler litter due to dietary silicate minerals supplementation not found in the present study that is in agreement with the results of Maurice et al., 1998; Loch et al., 2011 and Safaeikatouli et al., 2011.
The nitrogen and ash content of litter in broilers supplemented with kaolin and zeolite in diets are shown in Table 3. Litter nitrogen content on day 14 and day 42 was significantly lower in treatments containing 30 g/kg kaolin and zeolite (p<0.05) compared to control treatment. Litter nitrogen content on day 28 did not show any significant (p>0.05) difference between experimental treatments. This finding is in agreement with the result of Tatar et al., 2012 that showed litter nitrogen content in diet containing high level of zeolite (4%) was decreased significantly compared to diet supplementation with low level of zeolite (2%) and control. High nitrogen levels in the broiler litter can increase NH3 in the poultry house that lead to reduce broiler performance and health, and use of some litter additives can decrease these nitrogen levels. Zeolite is a cation-exchange composition that has high ability for absorb NH4+ ions because of its hydrated properties resulting from its structures (Mumpton and Fishman, 1977). Pervious studies show that the use of aluminosilicates in broiler diet would decrease ammonia concentration in poultry houses (Amon et al., 1997; Li et al., 2008 and Loch et al., 2011). In the ash content of litter there were no significant differences between dietary treatments and control (p>0.05). Nevertheless litter ash content in treatments with kaolin and zeolite on day 28 and day 42 was numerically better in comparison to control diet. Cabuk et al., 2004 suggested that the addition of zeolite in broiler diet led to decrease in fecal crude ash.
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Table 4 shows the effects of dietary treatments on Ca and P content of litter. The Ca content of litter on days 14 and 28 in diet with 30 g/kg zeolite decreased significantly compared to control diet (p<0.05). Litter Ca content did not differ significantly (p>0.05) among experimental treatments on days 42. In diet containing kaolin and zeolite litter P content during the overall period (days 14, 28 and 42) was lower than control diet, but this difference was numerically not statistically (p>0.05). Herzig et al., (2008) and Safaeikatouli et al., (2012a) reported that adding 3 percent of zeolite to broiler diet can increase Ca content in blood and tibia and did not any significant effect on P content. Therefore, it can be concluded that zeolite might enhance absorption of Ca and decrease excretion of it.
It is concluded that using kaolin and zeolite in broiler chicken diets caused decreased content of moisture, nitrogen and calcium in broiler litter as well as can reducing environmental pollution. Thus, kaolin and zeolite can be use as a feed additive in the broiler chickens diet for improving litter quality and performance.