Impact of dried brewers’ grains supplementation on performance, metabolism and meat quality of broiler chickens
The objective was to evaluate increasing levels of dried brewers’ grains (DBG) in feed for broiler chickens from 1 to 21 days old and their effect on performance, blood parameters, intestinal morphometry, carcass characteristics and meat quality. The design was completely randomized with six treatments, which consisted of various levels of DBG inclusion, namely 0 (no inclusion), 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 g/kg with seven replications and 17 animals per experimental unit, totalling 714 male broilers. Performance parameters, blood biochemical profile, morphology of the intestinal epithelium (duodenum), and carcass yield and composition were evaluated. Feed intake was not changed by DBG inclusion levels. Nor were weight gain and feed conversion ratio. Serum cholesterol levels were not influenced, and there were no effects on triglyceride, uric acid and creatinine levels. Enzyme aspartate aminotransferase showed a quadratic effect, as did alanine aminotransferase, with higher values at 79.5 and 63.9 g/kg DBG inclusion, respectively. No changes in carcass yield and relative organ weight were observed. The composition of the carcass in ether extract showed a quadratic effect, as fat deposition rate, with lowest values at 62.8 and 62.4 g/kg of DBG inclusion levels, respectively. Crude protein levels in carcass reduced linearly, as did fat deposition rate. The parameters of intestinal morphology and meat quality were not changed. Dried brewers’ grains can be included in broiler diet from 1 to 21 days at levels up to 100 g/kg without influencing the metabolic parameters and broiler performance.
Keywords: alternative feed, blood, by-product, intestinal villi, performance