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South African Journal of Animal Science

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


FRANK, R. et al. Effects of feed particle size on energy values for broiler chickens at various ages. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2020, vol.50, n.6, pp.830-839. ISSN 2221-4062.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of various geometric mean diameters (GMDs) of particles of corn, pelleted soybean meal and a corn-soy mixture in the proportion of 70% and 30%, respectively, on the nutritional value of the feeds. The study evaluated energy consumption, the contents of apparent metabolizable energy (AME) and AME corrected for nitrogen balance (AMEn) and the metabolizability coefficients for broiler chickens at various ages. A total of 540 Cobb 500 male broilers were housed in metabolic cages (experimental units). Trials were performed separately with each feed. A completely randomized design was used with four treatments, namely corn with 573, 636, 851, and 1012 μm GMDs; pelleted soybean meal with 538, 550, 665, and 741 μm GMDs; and the corn-soy mixture with 627, 658, 893, and 1040 μm GMDs. Birds were evaluated on days 1 - 10, 11 - 20, 21 - 30, and 31 - 40. Larger GMDs resulted in lower energy consumption. From 1 to 10 days, birds consumed less metabolizable energy than older birds. Birds fed corn from days 1 to 10 had higher metabolizable energy (P <0.05) with increasing GMD up to 1042 μm. However, the results varied, depending on the feed and its combinations. The use of coarse particles could reduce the costs of grinding, and would have few effects on the metabolizable energy of broiler chickens.

Keywords : feed cost; metabolizable energy; rearing phases.

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