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Growth Performance and Bone Characteristics of Female Broilers as Influenced by Dietary Nickel

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  026067,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.9227) @2002
Authors:   Wilson, James H., Wilson Edward J., Ruszler Paul L.
Keywords:   Nickel, shear force, shear stress, broilers, trace elements

The effects of dietary nickel (0, 25, 50, 75, 100, and 150) on performance parameters and bone strength characteristics of female broiler chicks were investigated. Broilers were housed in either cages or floor pens. At 7 weeks of age, the shear force, stress, and fracture energy of the tibia and radius for both the floor and caged birds all increased but not statistically when the basal diet was supplemented with 25 mg of dietary nickel per kilogram of feed. Dietary nickel had no effect on bird body weight, but the caged broilers (2420 g) were heavier than the floor birds (2128 g). Percent tibia bone ash, a measure of bone density, was not influenced by dietary nickel, but the tibia ash of the floor birds (40.1%) was greater than that of the caged birds (36.4%). Overall, the data suggest that there is an optimum amount of dietary nickel near 25 mg/kg of dietary nickel that will have a positive influence on bone strength characteristics and performance of female broilers.

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