Voluntary Intake of Insoluble Granite-grit Offered in Free Choice by Broilers: Its Effect on Their Digestive Tract Traits and Performances

  • Garipoglu, Ali Vaiz (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ondokuz Mayis) ;
  • Erener, Guray (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ondokuz Mayis) ;
  • Ocak, Nuh (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ondokuz Mayis)
  • Received : 2005.07.05
  • Accepted : 2005.11.01
  • Published : 2006.04.01


In this study, the effects of granite-grit offered free-choice on voluntary intakes of grit and subsequently on some morphologic traits of the digestive tract and performance of broilers were investigated. A total of 240 7d-old male broiler chicks (Ross 308) were allotted randomly to 10 floor pens supplied with wood shavings. The experiment lasted for 42 days. There were 2 dietary treatments, each consisting of 5 replicates. Each replicate consisted of 24 birds kept in an experimental unit with a floor size of $2{\times}2m$. Dietary treatments consisted of control (C) in which broilers were fed standard broiler rations, and acid insoluble granite-grit choice (AIGG) in which broilers were fed standard broiler rations and grit in separate troughs. Mean amounts consumed varied quite widely from week to week, but on average broilers ate 3.41 g per d per bird during the experimental period. Birds had a higher voluntary intake of granite-grit at an early age (7 to 21 d of age) than later (22 to 42 d of age). The voluntary intake of granite-grit of AIGG broilers increased (p<0.05) from 2.7 g/day at 7-14 d to 4.4 g at 15-21 d of age, and then it decreased to 3.4, 3.2 and 3.4 g/day between 22-28, 29-35 and 36-42 d of age, respectively. This level of grit intake increased (p<0.05) weights of empty gizzard (0.97 vs. 1.30 g), edible inner organs (3.51 vs. 3.69 g), and length of gut (8.86 vs. 9.01 cm) as a proportion of body weight and the content of insoluble ash (8.4 vs. 42.2 g/kg) in the faeces compared to the control group. Feeding free-choice grit had little or no effect on final live weights (2,542 vs. 2,543 g), daily gains (69 vs. 69 g), carcass weights (1,924 vs. 1,911), dressing percentages (75.6% vs. 75.1%) and feed efficiencies (1.69 vs. 1.66). Birds given grit did not gain more weight than those not given grit but they tended to have (p<0.07) lower feed intake (116.7 vs. 114.5 g), and consequently lower protein and energy intake. In conclusion, the granite-grit consumed voluntarily by broilers increased gut length and empty gizzard weight without affecting growth performance of broilers. Thus, it can be assumed that the voluntary consumption of granite-grit was too low to affect performance.


Supported by : Ondokuz Mayis University


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