Effects of feeding different forms of zinc and copper on the performance and tissue mineral content of chicks

T. Ao, J. L. Pierce, R. Power, A. J. Pescatore, A. H. Cantor, K. A. Dawson, M. J. Ford

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81 Scopus citations


A study was conducted to investigate the effects of feeding inorganic or organic Zn and Cu on the performance and tissue mineral content of chicks. A corn-soybean meal diet without Cu and Zn supplementation, containing 31 mg of Zn/kg of diet and 6.6 mg of Cu/kg of diet, was used as a basal diet. Organic Zn (a chelated Zn proteinate) and organic Cu (a chelated Cu proteinate) were used as organic sources for comparison with inorganic reagent-grade sulfates. Supplements provided 20 mg/kg of Zn and 8 mg/kg of Cu. A 3 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments consisting of feeding the basal diet with 3 supplements (none, sulfate, or organic) of Cu and of Zn was used. Ten groups of 6 one-day-old male broilers were assigned to each of 9 dietary treatments. Tap water and feed were supplied on an ad libitum basis during the 3-wk trial. The Zn and Cu content in the mucosa of the duodenum of the chick was determined. Dietary supplementation of Zn increased (P < 0.01) weight gain, feed intake, and G:F of chicks. The G:F for chicks fed both inorganic sources of Zn and Cu was lower (P < 0.01) than that for chicks fed only the inorganic source of Zn. Dietary inclusion of Zn increased (P < 0.01) tibia and plasma Zn con-tent. The tibia Zn content for chicks fed organic Zn was higher (P < 0.01) than that for chicks fed inorganic Zn. Liver Cu content was decreased (P < 0.05) by dietary inclusion of Zn. The Zn and Cu contents in the mucosa of chicks fed the organic source were higher (P < 0.01) than those of chicks fed the control diet. The feed conversion data suggest that the antagonism between Zn and Cu occurred when the inorganic forms, but not organic forms, of these 2 minerals were included in a chick diet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2171-2175
Number of pages5
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Antagonism
  • Broiler
  • Copper
  • Organic
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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