Xylanase Supplementation Reduces Dietary Energy Requirements While Improving Broiler Performance

The dietary energy costs associated with broiler production are a significant economic concern for producers, with feed accounting for nearly 50% of total costs. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in finding ways to improve broiler performance while reducing feed costs. As energy is the primary source of feed costs, there is a strong incentive to explore the potential benefits of reducing energy investments. A recent study has shown that supplementing broiler diets with xylanase can enhance feed digestibility, improve energy utilization, and promote growth performance and gut morphology.

Non-Starch Polysaccharides (NSPs) and cellulose are the main components of dietary fiber used in poultry diets. However, NSPs are generally indigestible to poultry, leading to reduced nutrient utilization and hindered growth performance. The use of enzymes in the diet can help to augment nutrient availability, and in this case, xylanase was found to be particularly effective.

The study involved 600 Ross 308 male broiler chicks, which were randomly assigned to six treatment groups with 10 replications of 10 birds each per group. The groups were fed low-energy diets with and without xylanase supplementation, and their performance and other parameters were compared. The results showed that broilers fed low-energy diets without supplementation had decreased live and total body weights compared to the control, whereas those supplemented with xylanase had significantly improved final live body weight, feed conversion ratio (FCR), and European production efficiency factor (EPEF). Dietary treatments did not affect carcass yield, gizzard, liver, and muscle relative weights.

Furthermore, broilers fed low-energy diets with or without xylanase supplementation had decreased abdominal fats relative weight compared to the control group. The xylanase supplementation groups also exhibited decreased total blood cholesterol and LDL levels significantly.

Importantly, xylanase-fed broilers demonstrated increased marbling and omega-3 fatty acids in their breast muscles, indicating an improvement in meat quality and bird health. The presence of the enzyme in the diet also resulted in less saturated fatty acids in breast meat and an increased level of unsaturated fatty acids, further contributing to the enhancement of meat quality. Xylanase supplementation was also found to enhance the immune response of broilers fed low-energy diets and decrease mortality.

Thus, feeding a low-energy diet and supplementing it with xylanase is a promising solution for producers seeking to reduce feed costs while improving broiler performance and meat quality. The study results suggest that xylanase supplementation can enhance feed digestibility, reduce bird stress, and ultimately benefit both producers and end consumers.