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Electrolytic Balance in Broiler Chicks During the First Week of Age

Author(s): Borges SA | Maiorka A | Laurentiz AC | Fischer da Silva AV | Santin E | Ariki J

Journal: Revista Brasileira de Ciência Avícola
ISSN 1516-635X

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 149;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: broilers | chlorine | electrolytes | potassium | sodium

Two experiments were carried out using 712 day-old chicks to evaluate the electrolytic balance (Na+K-Cl) in pre-starter (1-7 days) broiler diets. The feed, based on corn and soybean meal with 21.5 % protein and 2,900 kcal ME/kg, was offered ad libitum. In experiment I, K level was fixed, and Na and Cl levels were changed, using four 4 treatments and eight replicates of 16 birds. In experiment II, increasing levels of Na and K were used, with a total of four treatments and five repetitions of 10 birds. In both experiments, the dietary electrolytic balance was 40; 140; 240 and 340 mEq/kg. Electrolytic balance caused a quadratic effect on weight gain and feed:gain ratio, and a linear increase in feed intake when the electrolytic balance was increased by the single supplementation of Na, indicating that this ion stimulates feed intake of birds at this stage. However, feed intake was maximum for 202 mEq/kg, when K and Na levels were concurrently increased in the diet, indicating that there is a limit over which feed intake is depressed as a function of excessive K. The ideal electrolytic dietary balance was between 246 and 277 mEq/kg, obtained by the manipulation of Na and Cl levels.
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