Guzmán, P. and Saldaña, B. and Mandalawi, H. A. and Pérez Bonilla, A. and Lázaro, R. and Mateos, G.G.
Productive performance of brown-egg laying pullets from hatching to 5 weeks of age as affected by fiber inclusion, feed form, and energy concentration of the diet.
"Poultry Science", v. 94
The effects of fiber inclusion, feed form, and energy concentration of the diet on the growth performance of pullets from hatching to 5 wk age were studied in 2 experiments. In Experiment 1, there was a control diet based on cereals and soybean meal, and 6 extra diets that included 2 or 4% of cereal straw, sugar beet pulp (SBP), or sunflower hulls (SFHs) at the expense (wt/wt) of the whole control diet. From hatching to 5 wk age fiber inclusion increased (P < 0.05) ADG and ADFI, and improved (P < 0.05) energy efficiency (EnE; kcal AMEn/g ADG), but body weight (BW) uniformity was not affected. Pullets fed SFH tended to have higher ADG than pullets fed SBP (P = 0.072) with pullets fed straw being intermediate. The feed conversion ratio (FCR) was better (P < 0.05) with 2% than with 4% fiber inclusion. In Experiment 2, 10 diets were arranged as a 2×5 factorial with 2 feed forms (mash vs. crumbles) and 5 levels of AMEn (2,850, 2,900, 2,950, 3,000, and 3,050 kcal/kg). Pullets fed crumbles were heavier and had better FCR than pullets fed mash (P < 0.001). An increase in the energy content of the crumble diets reduced ADFI and improved FCR linearly, but no effects were detected with the mash diets (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05 for the interactions). Feeding crumbles tended to improve BW uniformity at 5 wk age (P = 0.077) but no effects were detected with increases in energy concentration of the diet. In summary, the inclusion of moderate amounts of fiber in the diet improves pullet performance from hatching to 5 wk age. The response of pullets to increases in energy content of the diet depends on feed form with a decrease in feed intake when fed crumbles but no changes when fed mash. Feeding crumbles might be preferred to feeding mash in pullets from hatching to 5 wk age.