Kong, C., Lee, J. H. and Adeola, O. 2011. Supplementation of β-mannanase to starter and grower diets for broilers. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 91: 389-397. Two experiments were conducted to investigate the efficacy of β-mannanase on ileal nutrient digestibility, total tract utilization of dry matter (DM), N, energy, and apparent metabolizable energy (AME, exp. 1), and growth performance (exp. 2) of birds fed practical corn-soybean meal (SBM)-based diets. In each experiment, 192 male broilers were assigned to four diets arranged in a 2×2 factorial of energy level [corn-SBM-based diet that met or exceeded NRC nutrient requirements (AE) or low energy (LE) diet containing 100 kcal of ME kg-1 less than the AE diet] and enzyme supplementation (with or without β-mannanase) for 21 d. Supplementing the diet with β-mannanase increased the birds' apparent ileal DM digestibility of the experimental diets (P<0.05), whereas there was no effect of energy level. Neither β-mannanase supplementation nor energy level had any effect on apparent ileal digestibility of any of the amino acids. The interaction between enzyme and energy levels was not significant for any criteria measured in the excreta except for DM (P=0.05). Addition of β-mannanase improved (P<0.01) the apparent total tract utilization of DM and energy in the broilers, and there was the same trend (P=0.06) for N utilization. Supplementing the diet with β-mannanase also improved the AME and AMEn of diets by 4.6 and 5.0%, respectively. For all growth performance responses in exp. 2, the interaction between enzyme and energy levels was not significant. During the starter period (day 2 to 22 post-hatch), β-mannanase supplementation significantly (P<0.05) increased the body weight (BW) gain of birds. During the grower period (day 22 to 44 post-hatch) and for the overall period there was no significant difference in BW gain or feed intake of birds regardless of energy level and β-mannanase supplementation. There were no dietary effects on feed efficiency of birds during the starter and the grower periods, whereas the birds fed AE diets had higher feed efficiency (P<0.01) than the birds fed LE diets. The results indicate that supplementing with β-mannanase may improve gain and energy utilization of broilers, whereas it may not affect ileal amino acid digestibility.
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