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Dilution of Broiler Chicken Diets with Whole Hulless Barley

28 July 2012, at 12:00am

Optimal broiler growth was achieved by diluting broiler diets with whole hulless barley (WHB) at 7.5 per cent in the grower diet and 15 per cent in the finisher, according to researchers based in Canada and Iran.

An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of diluting broiler diets with increasing levels of WHB on growth performance and nutrient digestibility, report D.M. Anderson of Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Canada and co-authors at Atlantic Poultry Research Institute (also in Truro, Canada) and Islamic Azad University in Maragheh, Iran.

In a paper published in Journal of Applied Poultry Research, they explain that a total of 144 day-old male broiler chicks were fed the same starter diet with five per cent WHB dilution. Grower diets (16 to 24 days) were diluted with 0, 7.5, 15, and 22.5 per cent WHB, and finisher diets (25 to 36 days) were diluted with 0, 15, 30, and 45 per cent WHB, respectively.

All diets were supplemented with a commercial dietary enzyme.

Birds fed the 22.5 and 45 per cent WHB in grower and finisher diets had lower 36-day bodyweights (P=0.05) than those fed the other treatments.

From days 25 to 36, birds fed the 30 and 45 per cent WHB diets were less efficient (P=0.05) than those fed the undiluted diet.

The Apparent Metabolisable Energy (AME) value of the 22.5 per cent WHB grower diet was lower (P=0.05) than those of the other grower diets, and the AME value of the 15 per cent WHB grower diet was significantly higher (P=0.05) than that of the undiluted diet.

All WHB finisher diets had lower (P=0.05) crude protein contents than the undiluted diet. The AME values of the finisher diets diluted with WHB were lower (P=0.05) than the undiluted diet.

On the basis of these growth performance and digestibility data, Anderson and co-authors conclude that optimal growth performance may be achieved by diluting broiler chicken diets with WHB up to a level of 7.5 per cent in the grower period and 15 per cent in the finisher period.


Anderson D.M., J.L. MacIsaac and A. Safamehr. 2012. Dilution of broiler chicken diets with whole hulless barley. J. Appl. Poult. Res., 21(2):399-406. doi: 10.3382/japr.2011-00470

Further Reading

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July 2012
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