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Br Poult Sci. 1999 Dec;40(5):667-73.

Optimum inclusion of field peas, faba beans, chick peas and sweet lupins in poultry diets. I. Chemical composition and layer experiments.

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  • 1Queensland Poultry Research and Development Centre, University of Queensland, Cleveland, Australia.


1. Experiments were undertaken to determine the chemical composition and apparent metabolisable energy (AME) of field peas, faba beans, sweet lupins and chick peas and the production of hens when each was included in nutritionally similar diets at 250 g/kg in 2 experiments. 2. Amino acid composition, crude protein and AME agreed well with previously published measurements. Detailed analysis of the non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs) showed that sweet lupins were much higher than the other grain legumes in the soluble NSPs and that the NSPs were particularly high in arabinose. The condensed tannin content was highest in field peas followed by faba beans. 3. In the 1st layer experiment over 40 weeks, hen-day egg production was lowest on the faba bean-based diet and egg weight and egg mass were also lowest. Relative viscosity of digesta in the small intestine of hens fed on the sweet lupin-based diet was highest, followed by that of hens fed on field peas. Enlargement of the pancreas was observed in hens consuming chick peas. 4. In experiment 2, in which only sweet lupins and faba beans were used, steam or cold pelleting showed few effects, nor did dehulling of faba beans but egg weight was lower when diets were steam pelleted. Daily food intake was 5.7 g/bird lower on the steam than cold pelleted diets and food conversion ratio tended to be improved (P=0.082). 5. It was concluded that field peas could support good production at 250 g/kg of layer diet. Although chick peas and sweet lupins supported good performance, there was concern about the increased weight of the pancreas and high gut viscosity respectively. Faba beans showed similar hen-d egg production in the 2nd experiment to that of sweet lupins but egg weight tended to be about 0.8 g lower than when on the sweet lupin-based diets.

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