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Nutrient, starch and energy utilization along the digestive tract and their impacts on cecal short chain fatty acid production in broiler chickens receiving different types and graded dietary levels of resistant starches

Oluseyifunmi, I., J. Lourenco and O. Olukosi

A total of 480 Cobb 500 male broiler chicks were used in a 21-day study to investigate the site and extent of nutrient, starch, and energy utilization and their effects on cecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) profile in broiler chickens receiving different types and graded levels of resistant starches (RS).The birds were allocated to 10 treatments in a 3×3+1 factorial arrangement comprising a corn-soybean meal control diet and the factors: 3 RS types (RST): banana starch (BS), raw potato starch (RPS) and high- amylose corn starch (HCS); each at 3 levels (RSL) 25, 50 or 100 g/kg. On d 21, jejunal and ileal digesta, excreta, and cecal content were collected for digestibility, total tract nutrient, starch, energy utilization, and cecal SCFA profile. RST × RSL was significant (P < 0.01) for total tract DM and N retention, AME, and AMEn. Overall, DM, N and starch retention, AME, and AMEn were greater (P < 0.05) for the control than other diets. In- creasing RSL decreased (P < 0.05) DM, N and starch retention, AME and AMEn for BS and RPS, but increased all these for HCS except for starch retention which was not different at all HCS levels. There was significant (P < 0.01) RST × RSL for ileal N and starch digestibility. Birds receiving RS diets had ileal N digestibility comparable to the control diet whereas birds receiving 50 g/kg BS had lower (P < 0.01) N digestibility. Ileal starch digestibility was lower (P < 0.01) for birds receiving RS diets compared with the control. Increasing RSL decreased (P < 0.01) ileal starch digestibility for BS and RPS but had no effect on HCS. RST × RSL was significant (P < 0.01) for jejunal starch digestibility. Birds receiving RS diets had (P < 0.01) lower starch digestibility than control except for HCS. Jejunal starch digestibility decreased (P < 0.01) with increased RSL except for HCS. There was no RST × RSL nor significant RST effect for any SCFA measured. Birds receiving 100 g/kg RSL had greater (P < 0.05) acetate and total SCFA (P < 0.05) than those receiving 50 g/kg but comparable to other treatments and the control.

In conclusion, increasing fermentable starch fraction in diets had the overall effect of increasing cecal SCFA, irrespective of starch type and this may have implications on gut health in broiler chickens.