Indexed on: 15 Apr '08Published on: 15 Apr '08Published in: British poultry science
1. Three experiments of 39 d were simultaneously conducted to assess the efficacy of three carbohydrase combinations on performance, apparent nutrient digestibility, intestinal morphology and digestive organ relative weights of chickens fed on a wheat-based diet. 2. Experiment 1 was performed under laboratory conditions, with the birds housed in cages. In experiment 2, the birds were placed in floor pens built in a commercial farm, and raised with their contemporaries at the farm. In experiment 3, broilers were reared under industrial management circumstances in commercial farms. A two-phase feeding programme was used: starter from 1 to 21 d of age and finisher from 22 to 39 d. The basal diet without supplementation (BD) and three enzyme preparations (BDF, BDP and BDR) were evaluated. 3. No differences in growth traits were observed among treatments in experiments 1 and 2. 4. When overall growing period was evaluated, all enzyme combinations improved apparent DM ileal digestibility of feed in the three experiments, but significant differences were only found in experiments 2 and 3. For this same period, an increase in apparent CP ileal digestibility of broiler chickens fed supplemented diets against the control group was found in experiment 3. Moreover, a significant greater apparent ileal fat digestibility in the enzyme treatments compared with the control group was shown when broilers were raised under industrial conditions (experiment 3). 5. Enzyme combinations had no effect on villus heights and crypt depths of broilers in experiment 1, whereas, in experiment 2, a greater villus height was found in BDF and BDP treatments than in control birds. 6. There were no differences in digestive organ relative weights among dietary treatments except for pancreas in experiment 1.