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South African Journal of Animal Science

On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Print version ISSN 0375-1589


AMIRAHMADI, E.; SAFAMEHR, A.R.; NOBAKHT, A.  and  MEHMANNAVAZ, Y.. Adding wheat and rapeseed meal to corn-soy diets affects intestinal morphology and nutrient digestibility in broilers. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2020, vol.50, n.6, pp.800-806. ISSN 2221-4062.

This study was conducted to investigate the effects of thyme essential oil and enzyme supplementation on rations with two different energy (wheat or corn) and protein resources (soy or rapeseed meals) on gut morphology and protein digestibility of broiler chickens. Three hundred eighty-four male Ross-308 broiler chickens were used with a 23 factorial arrangement with treatments according to a completely randomized design. The morphological examinations of the intestine were carried out on 1-cm long excised segments from duodenum, jejunum and ileum. Adding wheat to the diet increased small intestine length in birds compared to other feedstuffs (P <0.05). Duodenum crypt depth and jejunum villi length were also higher in groups fed with rations containing wheat (P <0.05). Groups that received thyme essential oil and enzyme supplementation had increased length of the duodenum (P <0.05). However, the two- and three-factor interaction effects were not significant. Protein digestibility was not affected by treatment (P >0.05). Feeding wheat to broiler chickens may increase the surface area for nutrient absorption in the small intestine as compensation for the anti-nutritive activity of non-starch polysaccharides in wheat-based diets. Wheat based diets are expected to be acceptable for broilers when supplemented with appropriate enzymes or thyme essential oil.

Keywords : enzyme supplementation; protein; rapeseed meal; soybean meal; thyme essential oil.

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