African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6862

Full Length Research Paper

Growth response and carcass quality of broiler chickens fed on diets supplemented with dietary copper sources

F. A. Igbasan* and S. K. Akinsanmi 
Department of Animal Production and Health, School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology,  Federal University of Technology, P. M. B. 704, Akure, Nigeria. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 03 September 2011
  •  Published: 19 March 2012


An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of dietary sources of copper on growth 
performance and carcass characteristics of broiler chickens. Three dietary sources of copper (Cu) 
namely: copper sulphate (CuSO4), copper oxide (CuO) and copper acetate were added to a corn-soy 
basal diet, which was formulated to meet the nutrient requirements of broilers, at 150, 200 and 250 ppm. 
The control diet had no supplemental Cu. There were ten dietary treatment groups. One hundred and 
sixty ANAK 2000 broiler chicks were randomly divided into these treatment groups of 16 birds each. 
Each treatment group was further subdivided into four replicates of 4 birds per replicate. The 
experimental design was completely randomized with 3 × 3 factorial arrangements of treatments and 
the trial lasted for 42 days, after a pre-trial period of 14 days. The final body weight, body weight gain, 
feed intake and feed conversion ratio (FCR) of the birds were determined on weekly basis. At the end of 
the experiment, two birds per replicate were randomly selected and slaughtered for the evaluation of 
carcass quality traits. The average final body weight and body weight gain of the birds fed with Cu 
supplemented diets were significantly (P ≤ 0.05) different from those fed with the control diet. The birds 
on Cu supplemented diets gained more body weight than birds on the control diet. Birds fed with 200 
ppm Cu gained (P ≥ 0.05) more weight than those on other levels of inclusion. Although not significant 
(P ≥ 0.05), those birds fed with CuO gained more weight than birds on CuSO4 and Cu acetate. There was 
no significant (P ≥ 0.05) difference in the average feed intake of birds fed Cu supplemented diets 
compared to the birds on the control diet. The FCR of the birds fed with supplemented diets was 
significantly (P ≤ 0.05) lower than that of the birds on the control diet. Those birds fed with Cu 
supplemented diets utilized feed better than birds on the control diet. Among those fed with dietary Cu 
salts, those birds on CuO utilized feed better (P ≤ 0.05) than the birds on CuSO4 and Cu acetate. Dietary 
Cu supplementation had no significant (P ≥ 0.05) effect on carcass quality traits determined. It can be 
concluded from this study that dietary copper supplementation up to 250 ppm from CuSO4, CuO and Cu 
acetate can substantially improve the growth performance and feed utilization of broilers. 
Key words: Copper, supplemented diets, broiler chickens, growth performance, carcass qua