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Performance Characteristics and Economic Comparison of Broiler Chickens Fed Wheat- and Triticale-Based Diets

by 5m Editor
16 May 2004, at 12:00am

D. R. Korver and K. R. Lawes, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta and M. J. Zuidhof, Livestock Development Division, Pork, Poultry and Dairy Branch, Alberta Agriculture - Published by Poultry Science.

Performance Characteristics and Economic Comparison of Broiler Chickens Fed Wheat- and Triticale-Based Diets - D. R. Korver and K. R. Lawes, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta and M. J. Zuidhof, Livestock Development Division, Pork, Poultry and Dairy Branch, Alberta Agriculture - Published by Poultry Science.

Abstract

The effects of triticale and wheat on broiler (mixed sexes) performance and cost of production were compared. In experiment 1, wheat- and triticale-based diets were fed to 3 strains of broilers (Ross × Ross, Hubbard × Hubbard, and Ross × Hubbard).

Each of the diets was provided to 5 cages/strain (n = 10 chicks/cage; 1,273 cm2/bird). Weekly BW, gain, feed consumption, and feed conversion ratio (FCR; g of feed/g of gain) were determined. At 42 d, 4 chicks/pen were shipped to a commercial processing plant.

The plucked, eviscerated carcasses were evaluated for carcass traits. Overall, the triticale-fed birds had lower final BW and average daily gain and higher FCR. Eviscerated carcass, thigh, and drum weights were lower, but pectoralis minor as a percentage of carcass weight was greater in triticale-fed birds.

In experiment 2, a wheat diet and a diet in which triticale was substituted (by weight) for wheat were provided in a 3-phase feeding program. Each diet was provided to 2 identically-equipped commercial barns housing 17,034 broilers each. Individual BW of a sample of birds were recorded in each barn at 0, 19, 34, and 42 d, corresponding to the beginning and end of each dietary phase.

Feed consumption and FCR were calculated for each barn. An analysis of each of the diets was calculated using a broiler chicken production cost model. Final BW, feed consumption, carcass weight at processing, flock uniformity, percentage of Grade A carcasses, and percentage of condemned carcasses were not affected by cereal source.

Overall FCR (2.165, 2.036; P = 0.0052), feed cost ($0.617, $0.577/kg live weight; P = 0.0260), and total cost of production ($1.019, $0.972/kg live weight; P = 0.0183) were greater for the triticale than wheat diets, respectively.

Triticale would be an economically feasible replacement for wheat in broiler diets when its price is less than or equal to 95% of the cost of wheat, less $18 (Canadian). Increased knowledge of the available nutrient profile of triticale, as well as least-cost feed formulation would likely increase the value of triticale relative to wheat for broilers.

The study is published in Poultry Science - Volume 83, April 2004, Number 5

Source: Poultry Science - April 2004