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Use of bitter vetch (vicia ervilia) as a feed ingredient for poultry

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 March 2009

GH. SADEGHI*
Affiliation:
Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran
L. MOHAMMADI
Affiliation:
Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran
S.A. IBRAHIM
Affiliation:
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
K.J. GRUBER
Affiliation:
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
*
Corresponding author: ghorbanalis@yahoo.com
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Abstract

The increasing costs of conventional feedstuffs like corn, soybean meal and fish meal for poultry diets is pushing the need to find less expensive alternatives. Bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia) is an ancient grain legume crop that originated in the Mediterranean region, but now can be found in many countries around the world. It has many favourable characteristics, such as having high yields and being resistant to drought and insects. Bitter vetch (BV) is a good source of metabolisable energy (13.57 MJ/kg), protein (240 g/kg) and minerals especially Fe, Cu, K, P and Cl. It contains small amounts of fat, but is high in non-structural carbohydrates (617.8 g/kg). Its amino acid profile is very close to soybean meal, including being a good source of lysine. Given all of these qualities, BV has good potential as a feed source for poultry. However, raw BV contains anti-nutritional factors such as canavanine, protease inhibitors, tannins and lectins that have been shown to have detrimental performance effects as a feed source for broilers and laying hens. Attempts to process and detoxify these substances through soaking in water, acidic and alkali solutions, boiling and autoclaving have met with limited success. Hence, before bitter vetch can be considered as a viable alternative feed source for poultry, more work is necessary to establish suitable techniques for removing greater amounts of these anti-nutritional compounds. This paper reviews the current body of knowledge on bitter vetch as a potential feed source for poultry.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
Copyright © World's Poultry Science Association 2009

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