Influence of Level of Dietary Inorganic and Organic Copper and Energy Level on the Performance and Nutrient Utilization of Broiler Chickens

  • Das, T.K. (Department of Animal Nutrition, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences) ;
  • Mondal, M.K. (Department of Animal Nutrition, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences) ;
  • Biswas, P. (Department of Animal Nutrition, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences) ;
  • Bairagi, B. (Department of Animal Nutrition, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences) ;
  • Samanta, C.C. (Department of Animal Nutrition, West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences)
  • Received : 2006.03.05
  • Accepted : 2006.08.23
  • Published : 2010.01.01


An experiment was conducted to determine the influence of dietary inorganic (copper sulfate) and organic (copper proteinate) forms of copper and energy level on performance and nutrient utilization of broiler chickens. Two hundred day-old commercial Vencobb broiler chicks were purchased and randomly distributed to 20 cages of 10 birds each. These replicates were randomly assigned to one of five treatments in a (($2{\times}2$)+1) factorial arrangement. These two factors were sources of Cu ($CuSO_{4}$ vs. Cuproteinate) and dose of Cu supplements (200 mg and 400 mg/kg dietary dry matter) and the control (no supplemental Cu). After the starter period (up to 3 weeks), from d 22 onwards another factor i.e. energy at two levels (2,900 vs. 2,920 kcal/kg diet) was introduced with the previous factorial arrangements by subdividing each replicate into two equal parts, for two energy levels, without disturbing the dose and source of Cu supplement. Cu-salt supplementation linearly increased (p<0.01) live weight (LW), live weight gain (LWG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) at 3 weeks, whereas cumulative feed intake (CFI) was unaffected (p>0.05). LWG and FCR were higher (p<0.01) in Cu-proteinate supplemented birds compared to $CuSO_{4}$ supplementation. A linear dose response (p<0.01) of Cu was found for the performance of broiler chickens. Birds having a higher energy level in the finisher stage increased (p<0.01) LWG and FCR. Cumulative feed intake was similar (p>0.05) across the groups up to the 5th week. Cu-proteinate increased performance of broiler chickens compared to $CuSO_{4}$. Dose of supplemental Cu-salt irrespective of source showed a linear response (p<0.01) for performance. Supplementation of Cu-proteinate increased metabolizability of DM (p<0.01), NFE (p<0.05), total carbohydrate (p<0.01) and OM (p<0.01) at the starter period. Increased dose of Cu-salt linearly increased (p<0.01) metabolizability of DM, CP, CF, NFE and OM. Higher energy level in the diet improved DM (p<0.05), EE (p<0.01), NFE (p = 0.01), total carbohydrate (p<0.01) and OM (p<0.01) metabolizability. Cu-proteinate supplementation showed better nutrient utilization compared to CuSO4. Dose of Cu linearly increased DM, CP, EE, NFE, total carbohydrate and OM metabolizability. CF metabolizability was unaffected (p>0.05) among the treatments. In conclusion, dietary supplementation of Cu-salt more than the requirement may improve performance and nutrient utilization in broiler chickens even with a high energy finisher diet. Cu-proteinate showed better performance and nutrient utilization compared to $CuSO_{4}$.


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