Influence of prepelleting inclusion of whole corn on performance, nutrient utilization, digestive tract measurements, and cecal microbiota of young broilers.

Poultry science

PubMedID: 25306459

Singh Y, Ravindran V, Wester TJ, Molan AL, Ravindran G. Influence of prepelleting inclusion of whole corn on performance, nutrient utilization, digestive tract measurements, and cecal microbiota of young broilers. Poult Sci. 2014;.
The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of prepelleting inclusion of graded levels of whole corn on performance, digestive tract measurements, nutrient utilization, and cecal microbiota in broiler starters. Five diets, containing 600 g/kg of ground corn or 150, 300, 450, and 600 g/kg of whole corn replacing (wt/wt) ground corn, were formulated and cold-pelleted at 65°C. Each diet was offered ad libitum to 6 replicates (8 birds per replicate cage) from d 1 to 21 posthatch. The proportion of coarse particles (>1 mm) increased with increasing prepelleting inclusion of whole corn. Pellet quality, measured as pellet durability index, increased (quadratic effect, P < 0.001) with the inclusion of whole corn to 450 g/kg and then plateaued. Weight gain and feed intake decreased (linear effect, P < 0.001) with increasing prepelleting inclusion of whole corn. Feed per gain (quadratic effect, P < 0.05) increased as the inclusion level of whole corn increased to 300 g/kg and then plateaued with further inclusions. Relative gizzard weight (quadratic effect, P < 0.05) increased with increasing inclusion of whole corn up to 300 g/kg and then levelled off. The AME (quadratic effect, P < 0.05) increased up to 300 g/kg of whole corn inclusion and then decreased with further inclusion. Apparent ileal digestibility of DM (P < 0.001), N (linear effect, P = 0.07), and starch (linear effect, P < 0.001) increased with increasing inclusion levels of whole corn. Based on the fluorescence in situ hybridization method, a linear (P < 0.05) effect was determined for cecal microbiota numbers. Lactobacillus spp. counts increased and counts of Clostridium spp., Campylobacterium spp., and Bacteroides spp. decreased with increasing inclusion levels of whole corn. The present data showed that, despite increased gizzard weight and nutrient utilization, weight gain of broilers was poorer with prepelleting inclusion of whole corn due to reductions in the feed intake.