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Enzyme Treatment of a Soybean Meal-Wheat Broiler Diet

Kocher, A., J.M. Hower and C.A. Moran

Exogenous enzyme treatment is commonly added to poultry diets to improve nutrient utilization, reduce excretion of nutrients into the environment, improve animal/bird performance and to reduce the cost of production. A series of four experiments were conducted in broilers to determine the efficacy and tolerance to an enzyme product (Vegpro™) containing protease and xylanase activities in wheat-soybean meal diets fed to broilers from 1 to 39 or 42 days of age. The experiments tested protease activity levels of 0, 2,500, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, 40,000 or 100,000 HUT/kg of feed. Results indicated that Vegpro™ improved average daily gain and feed conversion ratio, especially in birds up to 21 d of age. Overall, inclusion of Vegpro™ to broiler diets at 10,000 HUT protease per kg of feed was shown to provide the maximum weight gain and feed conversion benefits. Increasing the protease activity to100,000 HUT/kg, (ten times the recommended inclusion rate) was well tolerated and did not adversely affect the measured health and performance indicators from 1 to 42 d of age.