Modifying broiler diets with phytase and vitamin D metabolite (25-OH D 3): Impact on phosphorus in litter, amended soils, and runoff

Joshua M. McGrath, J. Thomas Sims, Rory O. Maguire, William W. Saylor, Roselina Angel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Adding phytase and 25- hydroxycholecalciferol (25-OH D3) to broiler diets has been shown effective at reducing total P concentrations in broiler litter. This study was conducted to determine the impact of fi eld application of broiler litter from modified diets on P solubility in litter-amended soils and P losses in runoff . Five broiler diets and their resulting litters were evaluated: a high P diet, a low P diet, each of those basal diets with phytase added, and a low P diet with phytase and 25-OH D3 added. A fi eld study was initiated at two sites with each of the five broiler litters and a commercial P fertilizer (triple superphosphate [TSP]) applied at the same total P rate (150 kg P ha-1) and a control where no P was applied. Soil P was monitored over time at two depths (0-5 cm and 0-15 cm) soils were collected in the spring and fall to perform rainfall simulation studies. Broiler litter or TSP application increased soil water-soluble P and Mehlich 3-P concentrations relative to the control, however there were no consistent differences detected between litter treatments. Results from the rainfall simulation experiments indicate that diet modification with phytase or 25-OH D3 does not increase the potential for P losses in runoff from amended soils relative to traditional diets. Moreover, broiler diet modification to reduce excreted P could be a potentially eff ective method for reducing watershed scale P surpluses in areas of intensive broiler production, without raising concerns over soluble P losses from litter-amended soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-332
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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