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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Phosphorus Excreta: Effect of Diet and Rearing Environment in Male and Female Broilers

Authors
item Miles, Dana
item May, James
item Lott, Berry

Submitted to: World Poultry Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 20, 2000
Publication Date: October 1, 2000
Citation: Miles, D.M., May, J.D., Lott, B.D. 2000. Phosphorus excreta: effect of diet and rearing environment in male and female broilers. Procedings XXI World Poultry Congress Proceedings. p. 10-14.

Interpretive Summary: Poultry litter has historically been applied to the land near the poultry house as fertilizer. Phosphorus in the manure, however, can build up in the soil and potentially pollute surrounding waterways. Methods such as diet formulation in conjunction with rearing conditions that can reduce the phosphorus in the manure are lacking. Experiments were conducted to look at different dietary levels of phosphorus for male and female broiler chickens under diverse temperatures. At the higher temperature more total phosphorus was present in the male birds excrement although the birds consumed more feed at the lower temperature. The available phosphorus concentration showed no significant difference between the temperatures for either sex. The results show that male and female birds utilize feed differently and that rearing environment affects phosphorus excreted. Separate feeding regimes for male and female birds are not practical. However, maximizing the use of rearing conditions that reduce phosphorus with those already in use can reduce the environmental impact of poultry litter throughout the U.S.

Technical Abstract: Waste management in the poultry industry is gaining attention due to recent media coverage touting the dangers of excess phosphorus (P) in waterways. Phosphorus is a vital nutrient for all animals and plants; buildup in soils, however, can lead to runoff and an overabundance of the nutrient in nearby bodies of water. Much research is ongoing regarding P in poultry litter, but there is a gap relating the P excreted to diet formulation and rearing conditions. This work utilized three dietary P levels, low, recommended average, and high, at two temperatures, 16 and 26 C, to determine the effects on phosphorus excretions for male and female broilers. Within a given temperature for each sex, total and available phosphorus levels in the excreta increased, as one would expect, with increasing P levels in the feed. However, at 26 C more total P was present in the excrement at each P level for the male birds. Temperature did not affect total P concentration in the manure of the female broilers. The excreta available phosphorus showed no significant difference between the temperatures for either sex. These results complement other findings on the effects of rearing conditions on broiler productivity as well as provide direction for further study of these effects for reducing P in manure.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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