Performance and digestive function of broiler chickens given grit in the diet
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonBritish Poultry Science. 2017, 58 (5), 530-535. 10.1080/00071668.2017.1332404
1. A series of experiments were carried out to study the effect of grit on broiler performance, gizzard development and fate of grit in the digestive tract. 2. In Experiment 1, performance, gizzard weight and content of grit in the gizzard of broiler chickens given access to granite-type grit was investigated. In Experiment 2, the effect of grit stones on performance and gizzard development was assessed in diets with or without whole wheat. 3. In Experiment 3, the effect of grit in the form of zeolite, granite or marble on gizzard development and digestive tract grinding and passage was studied in diets with or without whole wheat. 4. Grit stones had no effect on performance of broiler chickens, which may be explained by the fact that grit stones did not stimulate gizzard development to the same extent as with other structural materials. 5. The lack of stimulation is at least partly due to the fact that a majority of the grit stones eaten pass through the small intestine without being retained in the gizzard. 6. Grit in the form of marble reduced feed intake and weight gain.