Growth responses, excreta quality, nutrient digestibility, bone development and meat yield traits of broiler chickens fed vegetable or animal protein diets
This study was carried out to compare the performance of broilers fed diets containing only vegetable protein (VP) with birds that received an animal protein (AP) in their diets. Cobb 500 day-old male broiler chicks (n = 256) were randomly divided into four experimental groups. The two AP diets contained fish meal and soybean (SBF) and fish meal with canola (CMF); while the two VP diets contained predominantly soybean (SBM) or canola (CAN) meals. All diets were isoenergetic and isonitrogenous, and were pelleted, but amino acid levels were formulated on a total and not digestible basis. Feed intake up to 21 days was highest on the AP diets, and the lowest in the SBM treatment. Birds in the AP diet groups were significantly heavier at 21 days and 35 days than those on the VP diets. Up to 35 days, birds on AP diets had superior feed conversion ratio, while the CAN treatment was the poorest. Excreta moisture level was significantly higher in birds fed the VP diets than those on AP diets. Excreta pH and ammonia concentration were similar between treatments. Protein digestibility was higher in the AP than in the VP diets. Birds raised on VP diets had a significantly lower abdominal fat content than birds on the AP diets. Other meat characteristics measured in this experiment did not differ significantly. Bone development, in terms of breaking strength and latency-to-sit time, was significantly better on the AP diets than that of birds on the VP diets. The birds on the CMF diet had the longest tibia bone, while birds on SBM diet, the shortest. Total tibia ash content on the CMF diet was significantly increased, along with its iron and copper concentration, which were also significantly higher in birds on the same diet than the others. The responses of birds generally indicated that the AP diets were superior to the VP diets.
Keywords: Growth, digestibility, fish meal, bone growth, meat quality, soybean meal, canola meal