Poultry Science | 2021

The kinetics of growth, feed intake, and feed efficiency reveal a good capacity of adaptation of slow and rapid growing broilers to alternative diets



Poultry production currently relies on the use of soybean as the main protein and energy source. Reducing its proportion in poultry diets and partly replacing it with local feedstuffs would improve sustainability by reducing dependence on importations and the environmental impact of production. In this study, we evaluated the impact of replacing soybean by sunflower meal, fava bean, canola meal, and dried distillers grains with solubles on the performance of rapid and slow growing chickens. Animals were reared in groups and on the floor. Individual BW and feed intake data were collected throughout each animal s life, thanks to an electronic feed station. At 5 wk (for broilers) and 12 wk (for slow growing chickens), the birds were slaughtered to obtain carcass composition and meat quality data. Adaptation to the alternative diet was studied separately for each genotype. Firstly, we performed ANOVA with diet effect on daily data of individual BW, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio. Secondly, the variability of performances within the group was studied by ANOVA with effects of diet, period, and their interaction. Finally, correlations between daily performances and final performances at slaughter were calculated to understand the construction of final phenotypes and to identify early indicators of final performances. The results showed that the animals adapted well to the alternative diet, mean daily and final performances being mostly similar between the 2 diets for both genotypes (<3% on final BW). However, daily observations highlighted the critical importance of periods around dietary transitions by showing impacted performances for both genotypes. For example, feed conversion ratio of Label Rouge-alternative diet was 12 to 14% lower during the 3 d after transitions than during the 3 d before. It underlined the fact that adapting management of the batch to the alternative diet would be necessary. Correlations between daily and final performances showed that the slaughter performances of rapid growing chickens were mostly determined by BW whereas the main criterion was cumulative feed conversion for slow growing chickens. These correlations also suggested that reserves might be modified with the alternative diet, with rapid growing chickens giving rise to more glycogen reserves and less fat reserves.

Volume 100
Pages None
DOI 10.1016/j.psj.2021.01.032
Language English
Journal Poultry Science

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