Constant pressure from the industry to use fewer inputs for greater meat production generates a need for innovative feed additive alternatives.
A variety of copper (Cu) sources are available, ranging from the more bioavailable organic sources to the more traditional inorganic sources of Cu. Utilizing elevated concentrations of supplemental Cu to meet the nutritional requirements of broilers under a variety of rearing conditions has been shown to be effective, however, outcome variability occurs depending on the Cu source used.
Cu source bioavailability is dependent on the degree of resistance of a particular source to the effects of dietary antagonists. Using a highly stable chelated Cu source like MINTREX® Cu allows for better delivery of the trace mineral to the site of absorption. This increased availability also allows for lower total supplemental levels to be fed to achieve the same or better performance with a lesser environmental impact.
Cu has been shown to be beneficial in ways beyond just meeting the nutritional requirements of the bird. Cu has antimicrobial properties impacting gut health and has been shown to stimulate growth hormone production in broilers resulting in improved growth rate and live performance.
Two experiments were carried out in the College of Animal Science and Food Engineering/USP (Sao Paulo University). The objective of the first experiment was to compare the effect of elevated levels of Cu from two sources on performance of broilers housed under commercial conditions. There were 1008 male Cobb-500® chicks placed in a completely randomized design, with three treatments and eight replicates of 42 birds each. Treatments consisted of copper sulfate at 120 ppm and two MINTREX® Cu treatments at 30 ppm and 60 ppm (Table 1).
The objective of the second experiment was to compare lower levels of MINTREX® Cu to customary elevated levels of copper sulfate used in the industry to promote growth and enhance gut health. There were 630 day old male Cobb-500 chicks distributed randomly in three treatments and seven replicates of 30 birds each. Treatments consisted of copper sulfate at 10 ppm and 120 ppm and MINTREX® Cu at 30 ppm (Table 1).
Bodyweight (BW), feed intake (FI) and feed conversion (FCR) were evaluated in a 42-day period for experiment 1 and a 35-day period in experiment 2. The results were evaluated by analysis of variance, using SAS software. The Tukey test and orthogonal contrast were applied for comparison among the treatment averages.