Effect of dietary oligochitosan supplementation on ileal digestibility of nutrients and performance in broilers

Poult Sci. 2005 Sep;84(9):1383-8. doi: 10.1093/ps/84.9.1383.


The effect of dietary chitosan oligosaccharides (COS) supplementation on ileal digestibilities of nutrients and performance in broilers was assessed by feeding graded levels (0, 50, 100, 150 mg/kg) of COS. Two thousand four hundred male commercial Avian broilers (1-d-old) were assigned randomly to 5 dietary treatment groups (60 birds per pen with 8 pens per treatment). Diet A was a typical corn- and soybean meal-based diet supplemented with 6 mg/kg of an antibiotic flavomycin (positive control). Diet B was the basal diet without any supplement. Diets C, D, and E were formulated by adding 50, 100, and 150 mg/kg of COS to the basal diet, respectively. On the morning of d 21 and 42, 64 birds (8 per pen with 8 pens per treatment) from the growth trial for each age group were killed by cervical dislocation for determination of the ileal digestibilities of nutrients. Dietary supplementation with COS and antibiotic enhanced (P < 0.05) the ileal digestibilities of DM, Ca, P, CP, and all amino acids (except for alanine in the 21-d-old birds or phenylalanine, glutamate, and glycine for the 42-d-old birds). Feed efficiency was improved (P < 0.05) in response to dietary supplementation of an antibiotic or COS (150 mg/kg for d 1 to 21, and 100 and 150 mg/kg for d 21 to 42). The results demonstrate for the first time to our knowledge that dietary COS supplementation was effective in increasing the ileal digestibilities of nutrients and feed efficiency in broilers. Our findings may explain a beneficial effect of COS on chicken growth performance.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Animals
  • Chickens / physiology*
  • Chitin / administration & dosage
  • Chitin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chitosan
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Digestion / drug effects*
  • Ileum / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Soybeans
  • Zea mays


  • Oligosaccharides
  • oligochitosan
  • Chitin
  • Chitosan