Dec 22, 2015 at 08:30

Inclusion of fiber in diets for brown-egg laying pullets: Effects on growth performance and digestive tract traits from hatching to 17 weeks of age

We investigated the effects of fiber inclusion in the diet on growth performance and digestive traits in pullets from hatching to 17 wk of age. The control diets of the 3 feeding periods (0 to 5 wk, 5 to 10 wk, and 10 to 17 wk) were based on corn and soybean meal and did not include any additional fiber source. The experimental diets included 2 or 4% of cereal straw or sugar beet pulp (SBP) at the expense (wt:wt) of the control diet. From 0 to 5 wk of age, fiber inclusion did not affect pullet performance. From hatch to 17 wk of age, the inclusion of straw had little effect on pullet performance but the inclusion of 4% SBP reduced (ADG) (P < 0.05) and reduced feed conversion ratio (FCR; P < 0.001). Pullets fed straw had greater ADG (P < 0.05) and better energy conversion ratio (P < 0.01) than pullets fed SBP. An increase in fiber from 2 to 4% reduced FCR (P < 0.05). Body weight uniformity was not affected by diet. Fiber inclusion increased the relative weight (% BW) of the gizzard at 5

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