Comparison of dietary 25-hydroxycholecalciferol and cholecalciferol in broiler chickens

Poult Sci. 1995 Jul;74(7):1159-67. doi: 10.3382/ps.0741159.


We conducted a series of 10 feeding trials involving over 36,000 broilers. The effects of various dietary levels of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) or 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25-OH-D3) were compared using a "basal" dosage level of 69 micrograms/kg feed, as well as levels ranging from .5 to 1.5 times the basal level. For all 10 studies, average body weight increased by an average of .042 +/- .03 kg (P < .001) and adjusted feed efficiency decreased (improved) by an average of .026 +/- .0046 kg/kg (P < .001) in birds fed 25-OH-D3 in comparison to those fed vitamin D3 at the basal level. Changes in mortality were not detected. Evaluation of different dietary levels of 25-OH-D3 revealed a significant dose-response relationship, with maximal effects on weight gain, feed efficiency, and breast meat yield being observed in the range of 50 to 70 micrograms/kg feed. Preliminary studies with different levels of vitamin D3 suggested no additional benefits on weight gain or feed efficiency with higher dietary levels of vitamin D3. Serum 25-OH-D3 concentrations increased more rapidly in birds fed 25-OH-D3 than in birds fed vitamin D3. There were significant correlations with body weight, feed conversion, and serum 25-OH-D3 concentrations, with no correlations observed between serum 1,25-(OH)2D3 concentrations and these variables.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animal Feed*
  • Animals
  • Calcifediol / pharmacology*
  • Chickens* / growth & development
  • Chickens* / physiology
  • Cholecalciferol / pharmacology*
  • Longevity
  • Vitamin D / metabolism


  • Vitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Calcifediol