Effects of corn source and exogenous enzymes on growth performance and nutrient digestibility in broiler chickens

Poult Sci. 2013 May;92(5):1208-20. doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02390.


This study was conducted to investigate the effects of exogenous enzymes on growth performance, ileal digestible energy (IDE) and apparent ileal digestibility of CP and amino acids (AA) in broiler chickens fed corn-soy diets formulated using 3 different sources of corn (corn 1, corn 2, and corn 3). One-day-old male broiler chicks (n = 3,600) were allocated to 15 dietary treatments as 5 treatments for each corn as follows: positive control (PC) with no exogenous enzymes and adequate in all nutrients; negative control (NC) without exogenous enzymes and a 3% reduction in calculated ME relative to the PC diet; NC plus a commercial xylanase; NC plus a commercial mixture of xylanase, amylase, and protease; and NC plus a commercial mixture of xylanase and β-glucanase. Enzyme products had no effects on performance variables, and in some instances, they had negative impacts. In most cases, there were no effects of enzyme products on IDE and digestibility of CP and AA in the starter and finisher phases. Effects of exogenous enzymes on ileal digestibility were mainly found in the grower phase, and these responses were mostly observed in birds fed corn 2 diets compared with birds receiving corn 1 or corn 3 diets. Although analyzed nutrient contents of 3 corn samples were similar, supplementing corn 2 diets with enzyme products was associated with greater responses on digestibility parameters. Factors related to diets (e.g., availability of substrates) and birds (e.g., enzymatic activities in the digestive tract) may have limited nutrient digestibility, and these limitations may have provided favorable conditions for exogenous enzymes to specifically work on their substrates in corn 2 diets in the grower phase. Effects of enzyme products on IDE and digestibility of CP and AA were not consistent and varied depending on corn sources, enzyme products, and dietary phases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Chickens / growth & development
  • Chickens / physiology*
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis*
  • Digestion
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Hydrolases / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Random Allocation
  • Soybeans / chemistry
  • Zea mays / chemistry*


  • Amino Acids
  • Hydrolases