Diets containing high DON levels impair broiler performance (Extract)


Among the mycotoxins affecting livestock production, the Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) appears to be one of the most important ones. Many studies show the negative impact of DON in broiler chickens when the level of this mycotoxin is far above what is recommended by EU guidelines, i.e. 5,000 µg/kg (EC 576/2006).


The experiment was conducted at Schothorst Feed Research in April 2020. 630 day-old Ross 308 broilers were housed in 30 pens (21 birds per pen) and fed diets containing increasing levels of DON (Low: 1,650–1,890 μg/kg; Moderate: 2,500–2,880 μg/kg; and High: 3,220–3,900μg/kg) and its derivatives 3 + 15 Ac-DON and DON-3-G.


In Figure 1, during the grower period (D13-28) broilers fed diets containing moderate and high contamination levels presented a significantly increased feed intake but accompanied by significant impairment in FCR when the broilers were fed the highest contamination level. Based on this, it can be concluded that broiler production is affected when feed is contaminated with a mixture of DON and its derivatives, even at levels below the EU maximum recommendation of 5,000 μg/kg. DON at levels just above 3,000 μg/kg combined with its derivatives 3 + 15 Ac-DON and DON-3-G impair broiler FCR in the first 28 days of age. Extra attention should be given to multi-mycotoxins contamination in diets for broilers up to 28 days old.




Santos R. R. and Molist F. 2020. Effect of different dietary levels of corn naturally contaminated with DON and its derivatives 3+15 Ac-DON and DON-3-glucoside on the performance of broilers. Heliyon 6(10): e05257.