Efficacy of an Escherichia coli phytase in broilers fed adequate or reduced phosphorus diets and its effect on carcass characteristics

P. B. Pillai, T. O'Connor-Dennie, C. M. Owens, J. L. Emmert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Five experiments (EXP) were conducted to assess the efficacy of an Escherichia coli phytase compared with 2 commercially available fungal phytases. In EXP 1 and 2, male broiler chicks were fed experimental diets that included a P-deficient control (0.13% available P; 0.88% Ca) alone or with graded levels of KH2PO4 (0, 0.05, 0.10, or 0.15%) or phytase at levels of 250, 500, 1,000, 2,000, or 4,000 phytase units/kg of E. coli phytase (EXP 1 and 2), fungal phytase 1 (EXP 2), or fungal phytase 2 (EXP 2). In EXP 1 and 2, weight gain and tibia ash (mg/chick and %) responded linearly (P < 0.05) to inorganic P addition. In EXP 2, each level of E. coli phytase released more P than either fungal phytases 1 or 2, whether based on tibia ash weight (mg/chick) or percentage. In EXP 3, 4, and 5, dietary treatments containing adequate or deficient levels of P were fed with or without supplemental E. coli phytase. In EXP 3, weight gain and tibia ash were reduced (P < 0.05) by P deficiency, but gain and tibia ash of chicks fed E. coli phytase (250, 500, or 1,000 phytase units/kg) did not differ (P > 0.05) from that of chicks fed the P-adequate diet. In addition, carcass yield of broilers fed E. coli phytase was not reduced (P > 0.05). In EXP 4, E. coli phytase effectively supported weight gain, tibia ash, breast yield, and leg yield compared with birds fed the P-adequate diet, but clavicle breakage during processing was increased in birds fed E. coli phytase. In EXP 5, E. coli phytase again effectively supported weight gain, and no differences (P > 0.05; compared with the P-adequate diet) were noted for clavicle ash, diameter, or breaking strength. No differences (P > 0.05) in bone breakage during processing were noted among treatments. These results indicate that the addition of E. coli phytase to P-deficient broiler diets improves growth, bone, and carcass performance and is more effective at releasing phytate-bound P than the other phytase products that were tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1737-1745
Number of pages9
JournalPoultry science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioavailability
  • Broiler chick
  • Phosphorus
  • Phytase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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