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Poult Sci. 2016 Jan;95(1):41-52. doi: 10.3382/ps/pev309. Epub 2015 Nov 14.

Inclusion of insoluble fiber sources in mash or pellet diets for young broilers. 1. Effects on growth performance and water intake.

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Departamento de Producción Agraria, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040, Madrid, Spain.
Departamento de Producción Agraria, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040, Madrid, Spain


The effects of feed form and the inclusion of insoluble fiber in the diet on growth performance and water intake were studied in female broilers from 0 to 21 d of age. The experimental design was completely randomized with 14 treatments arranged as a 2 × 7 factorial with 2 feed forms (mash vs. pelleted) and 7 diets that consisted of a control diet low in fiber (1.6% crude fiber) based on broken rice, fermented soybean meal, and fish meal and 6 extra diets that resulted from the inclusion of 3 insoluble fiber sources (oat hulls; OH, rice hulls; RH, and sunflower hulls; SFH) at 2 levels (2.5 vs. 5%). Each treatment was replicated 6 times. Broilers fed pellets had 32% greater ADG and 3% better feed to gain ratio (F:G) than those fed mash (P ≤ 0.001). The inclusion of the fiber sources improved ADG (P ≤ 0.05) and F:G (P ≤ 0.05). Pelleting increased (P ≤ 0.001) water intake from 6 to 8 d, water-to-feed intake ratio from 18 to 20 d, and moisture content of the excreta at 20 d of age. The inclusion of the insoluble fiber sources increased water intake (P ≤ 0.05) from d 18 to 20 but not from d 6 to 8. Increasing the level of fiber inclusion from 2.5 to 5.0% tended to increase (P = 0.086) moisture content in the excreta at d 20. Pelleting and the inclusion of insoluble fiber sources improved ADG and F:G in broilers fed low-fiber diets, and the improvements observed were more pronounced with pellets than with mash. Growth performance of young broilers improves with the addition of moderate amounts of structural insoluble fiber in the diet, regardless of feed form. The inclusion of OH or SFH into low fiber diets was more beneficial for improving broiler performance than the inclusion of RH.


broiler performance; excreta moisture; oat hulls; rice hulls; sunflower hulls

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