Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
REVIEW

Calcium and phosphorus metabolism and nutrition of poultry: are current diets formulated in excess?

X. Li A B , D. Zhang A and W. L. Bryden A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A The University of Queensland, Poultry Science Unit, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Gatton, Qld 4343, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email: x.li1@uq.edu.au

Animal Production Science 57(11) 2304-2310 https://doi.org/10.1071/AN17389
Submitted: 12 June 2017  Accepted: 8 August 2017   Published: 19 September 2017

Abstract

Calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) are important nutrients in poultry diet formulations. In the present review, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of the metabolism of Ca and P in poultry. Recent data are provided in support of the proposition that current poultry diets are formulated in excess for Ca and P. The quantities of Ca and P available for metabolism reflect rates of intestinal absorption, bone accretion and resorption, glomerular filtration, renal tubular reabsorption, and intestinal endogenous losses. Ca and P homeostasis is largely under endocrine control. Parathyroid hormone and the hormonal form of vitamin D3 are the two hormones credited with this role. However, a novel hormonal axis involving Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 and Klotho has been recently delineated, which, in conjunction with parathyroid hormone and vitamin D3, tightly regulates Ca and P homeostasis. Recent studies have suggested that current commercial diets for both broilers and layers contain excess Ca and P, the content of which could be reduced without affecting production or bird welfare. The challenge in reducing Ca and P concentrations in poultry diets is the uncertainty about what concentrations of Ca and P can be fed without compromising bird welfare. This is because there are limited data on the available P and Ca concentrations in poultry feedstuffs determined biologically. This is further complicated by the need for agreement on evaluation systems for evaluation of Ca and P bioavailability. We conclude that direct ileal or pre-caecal digestible Ca and P values are preferred.

Additional keywords: bioavailability, FGF23, Klotho, phytase, vitamin D.


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