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    Alternatives to riboflavin (vitamin B2) production by recombinant microorganisms are needed in organic poultry production, but are cost-intensive, so that a demand-oriented riboflavin supply is necessary. Details on the riboflavin requirements of organic poultry are not available. A feed material with high native riboflavin content from fermentation of the filamentous fungus Ashbya gossypii was studied. Two runs with 800 Ranger Gold™ broilers each (40 pens with 20 animals) were conducted. The fattening period was divided into starter (S), grower (G) and finisher (F) stage. In the first run, a basal diet without riboflavin supplementation (NATIVE; 3.27, 3.50 and 3.16 mg riboflavin/kg DM in S, G and F) was compared to diets with supplementation at low (LOW; 5.30, 4.85 and 5.19 mg/kg in S, G and F), medium (MEDIUM; 7.56, 6.88 and 7.56 mg/kg in S, G and F) and high (HIGH; 10.38, 9.14 and 9.93 mg/kg in S, G and F) dosage. In the second run, different combinations of low and medium riboflavin supplementation were used in S, G and F diets: S-LOW (4.50 mg riboflavin/kg DM), G-MEDIUM (6.66 mg/kg), F-MEDIUM (5.71 mg/kg) (Treatment A), S-LOW (4.50 mg riboflavin/kg DM); G-LOW (4.92 mg/kg), F-LOW (4.01 mg/kg) (Treatment B); S-MEDIUM (6.37 mg/kg), G-MEDIUM (7.37 mg/kg), F-MEDIUM (5.07 mg/kg) (Treatment C); S-MEDIUM (6.37 mg/kg), G-LOW (5.28 mg/kg), F-LOW (4.22 mg/kg) (Treatment D). Body weight, feed and water consumption were recorded weekly, health and welfare indicators were scored bi-weekly. Slaughter traits were assessed for five males and females per pen. In the first run, NATIVE animals showed symptoms of riboflavin deficiency and lower live weights in the second week of age. Riboflavin contents of this group were increased to avoid further deficiency and recovery was observed. Feed conversion was better in HIGH (2.07) compared with NATIVE and LOW (2.11). At slaughter, treatments differed neither for foot pad dermatitis nor plumage cleanliness. In the second run, daily weight gains did not differ between treatments in any of the weeks. Feed conversion ranged between 1.99 and 2.04. Riboflavin deficiency was not observed in the second run, while treatment D showed superior economic efficiency. In conclusion, native contents of feed components (3.27 mg/kg DM) were not sufficient to meet the riboflavin demand and a total content of 4.50 mg/kg DM was identified as safe lower threshold. The levels rather according to commercial recommendations were not additionally beneficial to performance and health. Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    C Lambertz, J Leopold, S Ammer, F Leiber, B Thesing, C Wild, K Damme. Demand-oriented riboflavin supply of organic broiler using a feed material from fermentation of Ashbya gossypii. Animal : an international journal of animal bioscience. 2021 Jan;15(1):100003

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    PMID: 33516011

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