- Volume 18 Issue 3
The calcium balance study was carried out to determine the availability of calcium in different sources for chicks and laying hens. The sources of calcium were calcium carbonate (CC), dicalcium phosphate-dihydrate (DCPH), and dicalcium phosphate-anhydride (DCPA) for chicks and calcium carbonate (CC) and oyster shell (OS) for laying hens. The radioisotope dilution method was employed to measure the endogenous excreta calcium during the period of balance study following preliminary feeding. A. Experimental results with chicks: No significant difference was found among feed consumption of chicks fed diets containing different sources of calcium. Body weight gain of chicks was dependent upon the source of calcium. The gain decreased in the order of DCPH, DCPA and CC (P<0.01). The feed conversion efficiency in chicks fed DCPH was better than those in chicks fed CC or DCPA. The average tibia ash contents for chicks fed different sources of calcium were similar. The DCPH was superior to CC or DCPA regarding the calcium content in tibia ash. There were no significant differences among the average calcium contents in plasma trichloracetic acid filtrate in chicks irrespective of calcium sources. The mean apparent retention of calcium by chicks fed DCPH, CC and DCPA were 65.9, 64.0 and 59.9% respectively. The calcium to phosphorus ratios in tibia ash and plasma trichloracetic acid filtrate for chicks fed different sources of calcium were similar. The chicks fed DCPH showed the partition of endogenous excreta calcium in total excreta calcium as 35.6% which was higher than 31.0 or 31.4% for chicks fed CC or DCPA. The endogenous excreta calcium per day per chick in group fed DCPH, DCPA or CC were 17.2, 16.1 and 14.6mg respectively. The true retained calcium per day per chick in group fed DCPH were 109.9 mg which was higher than those observed with CC or DCPA group (P<0.01). The true retention of calcium by the birds fed diets containing DCPH, CC or DCPA were 78.1, 75.1 or 72.6% respectively. B. Experimental results with laying hens: The feed consumption, egg production and feed converion efficiency of laying hens fed diets containing different sources of calcium were similar. Calcium concentration in plasma trichloracetic acid filtrate in laying birds fed CC was equivalent to the value obtained by feeding OS. The apparent calcium retention by laying birds fed CC was 61.6% and it was significantly more than that of hens fed OS of 51.6% (P<0.05). The partition of endogenous excreta calcium in total excreta calcium of laying hens fed CC was 23.5% and this was higher than that of birds fed OS of 15.6%. The laying hens fed CC showed 310 mg of endogenous excreta calcium per day per bird while birds fed OS showed 261mg. The true retention of calcium by layers fed CC was 70.7% against 59.2% for birds fed OS (P<0.05).