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Influence of feed form and corn particle size on growth performance and meat quality of broiler chickens

Nusairat, B., M. Qaddoura alhaj, W. Pacheco and K. Mahmoud

The objective of this trial was to evaluate the effect of coarse corn inclusion and feed form on growth performance, meat quality, litter moisture and organ weights of broilers raised to 35 days. A total of 616 one-day- old mixed-sex Ross 308 broiler chicks were randomly distributed in 28 pens and assigned to 4 treatments with 7 replicates per treatment and 22 birds per replicate. Diets were corn-SBM-based and contained 2 levels of coarse corn (0 and 5% starter/10% grower) and were fed either as mash or crumble (starter)/pellet (grower)). The fine corn particle size was 924 μm and the coarse corn particle size was 1241 μm. Birds were fed starter (1-14 d) and grower (15-35 d). Body weight, feed intake, mortality adjusted FCR, and litter moisture were measured weekly. Processing, parts yield, and organ weights were determined on d 35. Data were analyzed as 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of (coarse corn inclusion x feed form) using GLM procedure of SAS to evaluate main effects and interactions. Tukey’s HSD test was used to separate means and statistical significance considered at P < 0.05. The inclusion of coarse corn during starter and grower period and pellets produced higher BWG (P<0.05) at 35 days compared to fine corn and mash, respectively. Feeding pellets improved (P<0.01) FCR compared to mash diets (1.79 versus 1.63). Furthermore, broilers fed pelleted diets had higher (P<0.001) breast fillet compared to broilers fed mash diets (511 versus 435 g). Pelleted diets increased litter moisture at 35 d (P<0.05) compared to mash diets (40.2 vs 47.1%). Organ development (gizzard, proventriculus, duodenum jejunum, and ileum weights) was not influenced by treatments.

It can be concluded that the inclusion of 5% and 10% coarse corn during the starter and grower improved broiler performance, while feeding pelleted diets improved BWG and FCR compared to feeding mash diets.