Three experiments were conducted to test a previously described anorexic effect of graded dietary supplements of Pancreatic® lipase enzyme on gut structure, gastric motility, and long-term performance of broiler chicks. In Experiment 1, dietary Pancreatic® enzyme was used at graded levels of 0, 0.214, 0.429, 0.643, 0.857, and 1.071% to test the effect of this enzyme on gut structure, whereas Experiment 2 was designed to test its effect at 0, 0.268, 0.536, 0.804, 1.071, and 1.339% on gastric motility. The histological examination of the small intestine and a cineradiographic study of birds fed diets supplemented with lipase enzyme failed to detect any difference in gut structure, and there was no apparent adverse effect on gastric motility. Experiment 3 was conducted to test the effect of graded supplements of Pancreatic® enzyme on performance of 300 male broiler chicks raised for 6 wk to determine whether the enzyme had any long-term effect on performance characteristics, especially feed intake. Only starter diets (0 to 21 d) were supplemented with 0, 0.375, 0.750, or 1.125% enzyme, and each diet was represented by three replicate pens of 25 male chicks each. Subsequent diets did not contain any enzyme. During the first 3 wk, increased dietary concentration of lipase enzyme caused a linear reduction of feed intake and body weight gain (P < 0.01). At 21 d the percentage weight of the liver was significantly greater with 1.125% enzyme (P < 0.01). However, added enzyme had no effect on 21 to 42 d or 1 to 42 d growth or feed intake (P > 0.05) or on the size of any internal organs examined at 42 d. Pancreatic® enzyme has previously been shown to improve fat digestion and increase diet AMEn for young chicks fed animal-vegetable blended fats. These positive effects, however, are associated with marked anorexia, and from the present study, it seems that this effect was not related to physical changes in gut histology or in prolonged digesta transit time.
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