The effect of dietary calcium inclusion on broiler gastrointestinal pH: quantification and method optimization

Article English OPEN
Morgan, NK ; Walk, CL ; Bedford, MR ; Burton, EJ (2014)
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press on behalf of the Poultry Science Association
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03305
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: animal structures

There is little consensus as to the most appropriate methodology for the measurement of gastrointestinal pH in chickens. An experiment was conducted to establish the optimum sampling method for the determination of broiler digesta pH in birds fed differing levels of dietary calcium. Ross 308 broilers (n = 60) were fed one of two experimental diets, one containing 0.8% monocalcium phosphate and 2% limestone and one containing 0.4% monocalcium phosphate and 1% limestone. Four factors were investigated to determine the most appropriate method of measuring broiler gastrointestinal digesta pH: removal from the tract, prolonged air exposure, altering the temperature of the assay, and controlling the water content of the digesta. The conditions were assessed at bird ages from 7 to 42 d post hatch. Dietary Ca content had no significant effect on in situ pH, but it contributed towards variance in ex situ pH of both gizzard and duodenum digesta.
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