An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of broilers fed diets formulated with low oligosaccharide soybean meals (SBM) on growth performance, meat yield, and physiological variables during a six week production period. Fifteen hundred Ross × Ross 708 male chicks were randomly distributed to 60 floor pens (25 birds per pen). Birds were fed diets formulated with one of three SBM sources [conventional SBM (CSBM), low oligosaccharide SBM (LOSBM), or ultra-low oligosaccharide SBM (ULSBM)] and either moderate or reduced AMEn (25 kcal/kg) values in a 3 × 2 factorial treatment design. Diets were formulated using AMEn and ileal amino acid digestibility values determined from previous research utilizing the same SBM sources. Variables measured consisted of body weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion ratio, mortality, incidence of pododermatitis, carcass characteristics, digesta viscosities and pH, and free fatty acids, glucose and triglycerides concentrations in blood plasma.
Significant interactions and main effects of AMEn concentration were not observed between treatments. Feed conversion ratio was lower (P < 0.001) for birds fed diets containing ULSBM vs. LOSBM and CSBM from 1 to 28 and 1 to 42 day of age. Broilers fed diets formulated with ULSBM had higher (P < 0.05) carcass yield vs. birds fed diets with CSBM. Breast meat yield was higher (P < 0.021) for birds fed diets containing LOSBM and ULSBM vs. CSBM, and abdominal fat percentage was higher (P< 0.027) for birds fed diets containing LOSBM vs. CSBM. Incidence of pododermatitis was higher (P < 0.002) for birds fed diets containing CSBM compared with LOSBM and ULSBM. These data indicated that no adverse growth or meat yield responses were observed for broilers fed diets formulated with low oligosaccharide soybean meals.