Ileal Digestibility and Bone Retention of Calcium in Diets Containing Eggshell, Oyster Shell or Inorganic Calcium Carbonate in Broiler Chickens

Document Type: Original Paper


1 Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Yasouj University, Yasouj, Iran


This study was conducted to compare ileal digestibility of calcium, dry matter and ash, growth performance, gut characteristics, bone parameters and retention of calcium in broiler chickens fed diets containing different calcium sources. A total of 96 commercial Ross 308 broiler chickens were allocated to three experimental diets. The experimental diets included a diet containing inorganic calcium carbonate powder (1.43% in grower and 1.37% in finisher), a diet with oyster shell powder (1.48% in grower and 1.42% in finisher), and a diet with eggshell powder (1.52% in grower and 1.45% in finisher). Each treatment had four replicates with eight birds per each. Results showed that the treatments had no significant effect on daily growth performance of broiler chickens during grower (d 11 to 25), finisher (d 25 to 39) and entire experimental period (d 11 to 39). The average relative weight of the intestine, gizzard and pancreas, as well as the intestinal length, live body weight and dressing percentage of broiler chickens were not affected by the treatments. Dry matter digestibility was higher in broilers received eggshell compare to those birds received oyster shell (P < 0.05). Also, digestibility of calcium and ash were higher in eggshell treatment compared to the inorganic calcium carbonate treatment (P <0.05). The digestibility of organic matter, calcium retention, dry matter, ash and diameter of femur and tibia were not affected by the treatments. This study suggested that eggshell could be added as a calcium source in broiler chicken diets with a positive effect on the apparent calcium digestibility and no negative effects on broiler chicken performance.


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