A 42-day study involving 3,120 broilers was conducted to determine the effects of feed form (mash, crumbles and pellets) and soybean meal source on chick performance. From 1 to day 21 the chicks were fed diets differing in physical form and all chicks were fed pelleted diets from day 21-42. Results showed that broiler chicks fed crumbled or pellets had higher average daily gains (P<0.001) compared to chicks fed the mash diet. The chicks fed the pelleted diets also had better feed-to-gain ratio than chicks fed the crumble or mash diets. For the entire experiment, the broilers fed crumbles or pellets had higher average daily gains (P<0.001) compared to the mash treatment. Broilers fed the pelleted diets had the best feed per gain followed by the crumble and mash treatments. The results confirm the benefits of pelleting of broiler feeds.
A second objective of the study was to compare soybean meals from four different sources. The four meals differed in crude protein content and digestible amino acids. The results of this limited study indicated that broiler performance reflects the processing of the meal. The researchers suggested that the nutritionist needs to provide more attention to the source of the soybean meal and its chemical composition, especially its available amino acids, when formulating broiler diets. Note: High quality soybean meals of U.S. origin help the nutritionist assure the formulation of broiler feeds which support optimum chick performance.