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Research Project: Enhancing Sustainability and Production Efficiency through Improved Management and Housing Design in Commercial Broilers

Location: Poultry Research

Title: Research Note: Effect of feed form and feeder position on feed consumption patterns in male broilers

Author
item Purswell, Joseph
item KIM, E - Dupont Company
item Branton, Scott

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/16/2019
Publication Date: 3/5/2020
Citation: Purswell, J.L., Kim, E.J., Branton, S.L. 2020. Research Note: Effect of feed form and feeder position on feed consumption patterns in male broilers. Transactions of the ASABE. 63(3):655-658. https://doi.org/10.13031/trans.13695.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13031/trans.13695

Interpretive Summary: Broiler diets are almost universally pelleted during the manufacturing process to improve nutrient density, handling characteristics, and live performance. Low pellet quality, transportation, and on-farm handling and distribution results in pellet destruction and production of fines. Poultry will selectively feed to meet nutritional needs and the variation in pellet distribution observed in commercial feeding systems may result in a reduction in effective feeder space through increased competition for pellets. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of mixtures of feed form and location on feed consumption patterns in broilers. Feed form treatments included 100% pellets (P), a 50:50 mix (M) of pellets and fines (by mass), and 100% fines (F) and were provided in three separate feeders with rotating locations. Overall mean consumption rates were highest for whole pellets (70.3%), followed by the mixed treatment (21.3%), and lowest for fines (8.1%). Feeder position did not affect feed form preference and broilers were able to reliably re-acquire the position of preferred feed form treatments after each location change.

Technical Abstract: Post-starter phase broiler diets are almost universally pelleted during the manufacturing process to improve nutrient density, handling characteristics, and live performance. Low pellet quality, transportation, and on-farm handling and distribution can result in pellet destruction, ultimately resulting in variation in pellet distribution in a wire-auger feeding system. Given that poultry selectively feed to meet nutritional needs, the variation in pellet distribution observed in commercial feeding systems may result in a reduction in effective feeder space through increased competition for pellets. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of mixtures of feed form and location on feed consumption patterns in broilers. Feed form treatments included 100% pellets (P), a 50:50 mix (M) of pellets and fines (by mass), and 100% fines (F). A total of 264 broilers were randomly allocated to each of six rooms at 37 d of age and provided each of the three feed form treatments in separate feeders. Feeder locations were rotated every three days, allowing for each feed form treatment to be located in all three feeder positions. Overall mean consumption rates for each feed form treatment were significantly different (P = 0.0001) with 70.3%, 21.3%, and 8.1% for the pellet only, mixed, and fines diets, respectively and a pooled SEM of 0.02%. No significant differences were found for feeder position (P = 0.12) or test period (P = 0.91). Broilers were able to reliably re-acquire the position of preferred feed form treatments after each location change.