Evaluation of Chelated Mineral Premixes on Broiler Chicken Performance

United Research Poultry Center, India


A five week feeding trial was conducted on Cobb broilers in an R&D farm located in South India. Mash feeds produced in a commercial feedmill were used to create five diets for testing. The control diet was incorporated with an inorganic trace mineral premix at 1 kg/MT. Two diets did not have any inorganic trace mineral premix and were incorporated with 500 g/MT of Bentoli’s Complemin®7+ (Diet: CC) or other mineral products (Diet: CB). Two other diets had the inorganic trace mineral premix at 1 kg/MT, and were supplemented with 250 g/MT of Complemin® 7+ (Diet: SC) or other mineral products (Diet: SB). The birds were provided unrestricted access to the feed in floor pens. Each diet was randomly allotted to 7 replicate pens except the control diet which was allotted to 6 replicate pens. Each 54 sq.ft. pen housed 35 mixed sex broilers. Mean body weights of the birds at the end of five weeks were 2088, 2079, 2095, 2092, and 2079 for Control, CC, CB, SC, and SB, respectively.

Corresponding FCR were 1.49, 1.50, 1.51, 1.48, and 1.48. Mortality in the broilers fed control diet was 2.38%. Mortality increased when chelated mineral premixes were the only supplementary source of mineral at 500 g/t: 2.45% (CC) and 4.49% (CB). Mortality was reduced when chelated mineral premixes were topped up at 250 g/t to the inorganic mineral premix: 1.63% (SC) and 1.22% (SB). From these results, the following may be interpreted:

(1) Supplementation with chelated mineral premixes on top of an inorganic mineral premix leads to improved broiler performance;

(2) Chelated mineral premix at half the dose of inorganic mineral premix does not meet the mineral requirements of broilers especially in the last two weeks of vigorous weight gain and results in poor performance;

(3) Among the two products tested, Complemin® 7+ performed better than the other mineral products in many respects.


Trace mineral requirements for commercial animal production have not been defined well. It is widely acknowledged that the requirements have most likely increased in modern animal production due to the fast growth of animals. Chelated trace minerals are preferred in animal production due to their is high when compared to inorganic trace minerals. So, evaluation of various commercial chelated trace mineral products and their inclusion levels in commercial broiler rearing is important. In this study three commercially available premixes of chelated trace minerals were compared against each other and an inorganic trace mineral premix, either as a top-up to the inorganic trace mineral premix or as a complete replacement.


• To compare the performance of two chelated trace mineral premixes,

(1) Complemin® 7+ (Manufacturer: Bentoli® ), (2) other mineral products as

supplements to an inorganic trace mineral premix.

• To compare the performance of the above two chelated trace mineral premixes as complete replacements to the inorganic trace mineral premix.

Trial Protocol

1. Formulas and Feed Preparation:

Feeds were designed for 4-stage feeding: Pre-starter (day 1-10), Starter (day 11-15), Grower (day 16-20) and Finisher (day 21 to harvest). The basal feeds were formulated with corn, soybean meal, peanut meal, lysine, methionine, calcite, dicalcium phosphate, vegetable oil and other microingredients and additives.

The basal formula was produced as mixed mash. Experimental diets were made by adding the appropriate mineral premixes.

2. Feeding Trial:

Each diet was randomly allotted to 7 replicate pens except the control diet which was allotted to 6 replicate pens. Each pen had 54 sq.ft (9 x 6 ft) floor area and was stocked with 35 Cobb birds of mixed sex.

The birds were provided with unrestricted feed access in an automated feeder for 5 weeks. Twenty birds were sampled once every week for mass weight. Dead birds were removed each day and mortality was recorded.


The day after termination of the trial, three randomly selected chickens from each treatment was slaughtered for yield estimates and organ weights.


Broilers fed different feeds showed no apparent difference in body weight for the first four weeks of the trial, whereas higher mortality was observed from week 3 in those birds that were fed diets in which chelated minerals completely replaced inorganic minerals.

At the end of the trial, birds  fed chelated minerals on top of inorganic minerals had numerically higher body weight gain, lower mortality and FCR than those birds fed inorganic minerals alone. However, birds fed diets in which inorganic minerals were completely replaced with chelated minerals performed poorer in all performance parameters than birds fed diets with inorganic minerals alone. Among the two chelated mineral products, Bentoli’s Complemin®7+, performed better than competitor’s product in all indicators of performance and resulted in the lowest production cost. Meat yield of birds fed diets with chelated minerals was higher than that of birds fed the diet with inorganic minerals alone. Among the two chelated mineral products, the competitor product resulted in slightly better meat and breast yield compared to Complemin® 7+.

Discussion & Conclusions

Results of Trial 2013-2 provides several useful insights on the use of chelated trace minerals in broiler diets:

1. Supplementation with chelated minerals improves bird performance when the birds register fast growth. The effect of chelated minerals was not apparent highest weight gain. Given the facts that mineral reserves accumulate over time and higher mineral levels are needed when the birds register high growth rates, chelated minerals should be provided as supplements from the pre-starter stage. This study shows that such a strategy is also cost effective.

2. Complete replacement of inorganic trace minerals with chelated trace minerals at 50% dosage results in some performance loss, especially survival loss. Claims that chelated trace minerals have very high bioavailability that inorganic trace minerals can be replaced by chelated trace minerals at 20% or lower (Leeson 2005) should, therefore, be viewed with caution. 3. Among the two chelated minerals, Bentoli’s Complemin®7+ performed as well as or better than the more expensive competitor product in most respects of production, except for meat yield.

Recommendations for Future Work:

1. Determining effective complete replacement level of inorganic trace mineral premix by chelated mineral premix.

2. Tibia bone analysis to measure mineral retention and bioavailability.

3. Fecal analysis to measure mineral excretion.