Skip to main content

Prospects of improving efficiency of feed utilisation in broiler

  • U. AFTAB (a1), M.R. BEDFORD (a1) and D. CRESWELL (a2)

This review provides a synopsis of nutritional strategies used to improve the efficiency of feed efficiency (FE) of broilers at a given nutrient density. A small reduction in feed intake can improve FE as a function of improved nutrient digestibility and or post-absorptive metabolism. Restriction of nutrient intake to slow down growth during the mid-growth period followed by reinstatement of conventional feed afterwards, may lead to compensatory growth and improved FE. Replacement of part of the dietary starch with a slowly digested starch source has been shown to help improve growth performance and FE, perhaps by sparing amino acid catabolism by enterocytes, and/or through more synchronised uptake of glucose and nitrogen by the systemic circulation. Development of a larger, more functional gizzard, through provision of feed with coarser particles or structural fibre has been shown to improve digestibility and efficiency of nutrient utilisation. Although broilers are often fed pelleted diets which achieve better growth performance than a mash counterpart, the particulars of the process, including pellet quality, pelleting temperature, and particle size within pellets are important determinants of the magnitude of the pelleting response. Use of the high doses of phytase, often referred to as phytase super-dosing, targeting more complete phytate destruction have been shown to improve FE of broiler fed commercial diets. It can be speculated that combined use of these strategies could potentially help improve FE by between 8 to 10 points (0.08-0.1).

Corresponding author
Corresponding author:
Hide All
ABDOLLAHI, M.R., RAVINDRAN, V., WESTER, T.J., RAVINDRAN, G. and THOMAS, D.V. (2010) Influence of conditioning temperature on the performance, nutrient utilization and digestive tract development of broiler fed on maize- and wheat-based diets. British Poultry Science 51: 648-657.
ABDOLLAHI, M.R., RAVINDRAN, V., WESTER, T.J., RAVINDRAN, G. and THOMAS, D.V. (2013) Influence of pelleting diameter and length on the quality of pellets and performance, nutrient utilization and digestive tract development of broilers fed on wheat-based diets. British Poultry Science 54: 337-345.
ACAR, N., PETTERSON, P.H. and BARBATO, G.F. (2001) 1. Appetite suppressing activity of supplemental amino acids and subsequent compensatory growth of broilers. Poultry Science 80: 1215-1222.
AFTAB, U. and AHMED, A. (2001) Feeding lysine deficient diets may depress starter intake. Feedstuffs 74 (49): 12-13.
AFTAB, U. (2012) Dietary amino acid optima: an economic appraisal. Journal of Applied Poultry Research 21: 738-743.
AFTAB, U. (2017) Towards an inorganic phosphate-free nutrition for broilers. Asian Feed. December, Pages 30-31.
AFTAB, U. and CRESWELL, D. (2015) Low Nutrient density diets: a way to improve broiler production efficiency. Asian Poultry. March, Pages 58-61.
AMERAH, A.M., RAVINDRAN, V., LENTLE, R.G. and THOMAS, D.G. (2007) Influence of feed particle size and feed form on the performance, energy utilization, digestive tract development, and digesta parameters of broiler starters. Poultry Science 86: 2615-2623.
AMERAH, A.M., RAVINDRAN, V., LENTLE, R.G. and THOMAS, D.G. (2008a) Influence of feed particle size on the performance, energy utilization, digestive tract development, and digesta parameters of broiler starters fed wheat- and corn-based diets. Poultry Science 87: 2320-2328.
AMERAH, A.M., RAVINDRAN, V., LENTLE, R.G. and THOMAS, D.G. (2008b) Influence of feed particle size and xylanase supplementation on the performance, energy utilization, digestive tract parameters, and digesta viscosity of broiler starters. British Poultry Science 49: 455-462.
BAKER, D.H., BATAL, A.B., PARR, T.M., AUGSPURGER, M.R. and PARSONS, C.M. (2002) Ideal ratio (relative to lysine) of tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, and valine for chicks during the second and third weeks posthatch. Poultry Science 81: 485-494.
BEDFORD, M.R. and WALK, C.L. (2013) Superdosing phytase in broilers: providing more than just phosphorus in poultry. Asia Feed Magazine, pages. 16-17.
BIGOT, K., NIGNON-GRASTEAU, S., PICARD, M. and TESSERAUD, S. (2003) Effect of delayed feed intake on body, intestine and muscle development in neonate broilers. Poultry Science 82: 781-788.
CARRE, B. (2004) Causes of variation in digestibility of starch among feedstuffs. World's Poultry Science Journal 60: 76-89.
CHEWNING, C.G., STARK, C.R. and BRAKE, J. (2012) Effects of particle size and feed form on broiler performance. Journal of Applied Poultry Research 21: 830-837.
COWIESON, A.J., HRUBY, M. and FAURSCHOU ISAKSEN, M. (2005) The effect of conditioning temperature and exogenous xylanase addition on viscosity of wheat-based diets and the performance of broiler chickens. British Poultry Science 46: 717-724.
COWIESON, A.J., WILCOCK, P. and BEDFORD, M.R. (2011) Super-dosing effect of phytase in poultry and other monogastrics. World's Poultry Science Journal 67: 225-236.
CRESWELL, D. and BEDFORD, M.R. (2006) High pelleting temperature reduces broiler performance. Proceedings of Australian Poultry Science Symposium 18: 1-6.
DAVIS, A.J. and AUSTIC, R.E. (1997) Dietary protein and amino acid levels alter threonine dehydrogenase activity in hepatic mitochondria of Gallus domesticus. Journal of Nutrition 127: 738-744.
DOUGLAS, J.H., SULLIVAN, T.W., BOND, P.L., STRUWE, F.J., BAIER, J.G. and ROBESON, L.G. (1990) Influence of grinding, rolling, and pelleting on the nutritional value of grain sorghum and yellow corn for broilers. Poultry Science 69: 2150-2156.
EITS, R.M., KWAKKEL, R.P., VERSTEGEN, M.W.A. and EMMANS, G. (2003) Response of broiler chickens to dietary protein: Effects of early life protein nutrition on later responses. British Poultry Science 44: 398-409.
ENGBERG, R.M., HEDEMANN, M.S., STEENFELDT, S. and JENSEN, B.B. (2004) Influence of whole wheat and Xylanase on Broiler Performance and Microbial Composition and Activity in the Digestive Tract. Poultry Science 83: 925-938.
ENGLYST, H.N., KINGMAN, S.M., HUDSON, G.J. and CUMMINGS, J.H. (1996) Measurement of resistant starch in vitro and in vivo. British Journal of Nutrition 75: 749-755.
FAVERO, A., MAIORKA, A., DAHLKE, F., MEURER, R.F.P., OLIVEIRA, R.S. and SENS, R.F. (2009) Influence of feed form and corn particle size on the live performance and digestive tract development of turkeys. Journal of Applied Poultry Research 18: 772-779.
FULLER, M.F., WEEKES, T.E.C., CADENHEAD, A. and BRUCE, J.B. (1977) The protein-sparing effect of carbohydrate: 2. The role of insulin. British Journal of Nutrition 38: 489-496.
GONZALEZ-ALVARADO, J.M., JIMENEZ-MORENO, E., LAZARO, R. and MATEOS, G.G. (2007) Effects of types of cereal, heat processing of cereal, and influence of fibre in the diet on productive performance and digestive traits of broilers. Poultry Science 86: 1705-1715.
HEGER, J. and FRYDRYCH, Z. (1985) Efficiency of utilization of essential amino acids in growing rats at different levels of intake. British Journal of Nutrition 54: 499-508.
HETLAND, H., SVIHUS, B. and KROGDAHL, A.A. (2003) Effects of oat hulls and wood shavings on digestion in broiler and layers fed diets based on whole or ground wheat. British Poultry Science 44: 275-282.
JACOBS, C.M., UTTERBACK, P.L. and PARSONS, C.M. (2010) Effects of corn particle size on growth performance and nutrient utilization in young chicks. Poultry Science 89: 539-544.
JENSEN, L.S., MERRILL, L.H., REDDY, C.V. and MCGINNIS, J. (1962) Observations on eating pattern and rate of food passage of birds fed pelleted and unpelleted diet. Poultry Science 41: 1414-1419.
KILBURN, J. and EDWARDS, H.M. (Jr) (2001) The response of broilers to the feeding of mash or pelleted diets containing maize of varying particle size. British Poultry Science 42: 484-492.
LAMOT, D. (2017) First week nutrition of broiler chickens: effects on growth, metabolic status, organ development, and carcass composition. PhD Thesis, Wageningen NL.
LENTLE, R.G., RAVINDRAN, V., RAVINDRAN, G. and THOMAS, D.V. (2006) Influence of feed particle size on the efficiency of broiler chickens fed wheat based diets. Japanese Poultry Science 43: 135-142.
LIPPENS, M., HUYGHEBAERT, G. and DE GROOTE, G. (2002a) The efficiency of nitrogen retention during compensatory growth of food-restricted broilers. British Poultry Science 43: 669-676.
LIPPENS, M., HUYGHEBAERT, G., VAN TUYL, O. and DE GROOTE, G. (2002b) . Early and temporary qualitative, autonomous feed restriction of broiler chickens: Effects on performance characteristics, mortality, carcass and meat quality. Archiv für Geflügelkunde 67 (2): 49-56.
LIU, S.Y., SELLE, P.H., GILL, R.J. and COWIESON, A.J. (2013) Digestion kinetics of starch, but not nitrogen, influence nitrogen retention in red and white sorghum-based broiler diets. Proceedings of European Poultry Science Symposium.
MCKINNEY, L.J. and TEETER, R.G. (2004) Predicting effective calorific value of nonnutritive factors: I. Pellet quality and II. Prediction of consequential formulation dead zones. Poultry Science 83: 1165-1174.
MILIC, D., BJEDOV, S., PUVAC, N., STANACEV, V. and STANACEV, V. (2013) Effects of pelleted feeds on performance parameters or broiler chickens. Proceedings of European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition.
MILLER, D.S. and WISE, A. (1976) The energetics of ‘catch up’ growth. Nutrition and Metabolism 20: 125-134.
MNILK, B., HARRIS, C.I. and FULLER, M.F. (1996) Lysine utilization by growing pigs: simultaneous measurement of protein accretion and lysine oxidation. British Journal of Nutrition 75: 57-67.
NIR, I., HILLEL, R., SHEFET, G. and NITSAN, Z. (1994b) Effect of grain particle size on performance. 2. Grain texture interactions. Poultry Science 73: 781-791.
NIR, I., MECION, J.P. and PICARD, M. (1990) Effect of particle size of sorghum grains on feed intake and performance of young broilers. Poultry Science 69: 2177-2184.
NIR, I., SHEFET, G. and AARONI, Y. (1994a) Effect of particle size on performance. 1. Corn. Poultry Science 73: 45-49.
PARSONS, A.S., BUCHANAN, N.P., BLEMINGS, K.P., WILSON, M.E. and MORITZ, J.S. (2006) Effect of corn particle size and pellet texture on broiler performance inn growing phase. Journal of Applied Poultry Research 15: 245-255.
PERON, A., BASTIANELLI, D., OURY, F.X., GOMEZ, J. and CARRE, B. (2005) Effect of food deprivation and particle size of ground wheat on digestibility of food components in broilers fed on pelleted diet. British Poultry Science 46: 223-230.
PICKFORD, J.R. (1992) Effects of processing on the stability of heat labile nutrients in animal feeds, in: GARNSWORTHY, P.C., HARESIGN, W. & COLE, D.J.A. (Eds) Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition, pp. 177-192 (Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, U.K.).
PRESTON, C.M., MCCRACKEN, K.J. and MCALLISTER, A. (2000) Effect of diet form and enzyme supplementation on growth efficiency and energy utilization of wheat-based diets for broilers. British Poultry Science 41: 324-331.
REECE, F.N., LOTT, B.D. and DEATON, J.W (1985) the effects of feed form, grinding method, energy level, and gender on broiler performance in a moderate (21 C) environment. Poultry Science 64: 1834-1839.
ROBINSON, F.E., CLASSEN, H.L., HANSON, J.A. and OKANDA, D.K. (1992) Growth performance, feed efficiency and incidence of metabolic disease in full-fed and feed restricted broiler and roaster chickens . Journal of Applied Poultry Research 1: 33-41.
SANTOS, F.B.O., SANTOS, A.A. (Jr), FERKET, P.R. and SHELDON, B.W. (2006) Influence of grain particle size and insoluble fibre content on Salmonella colonisation and shedding of turkeys fed corn-soybean meal diet. International Journal of Poultry Science 5: 731-739.
SKINNER-NOBLE, D.O., MCKINNEY, L.J. and TEETER, R.G. (2005) Predicting effective calorific value of nonnutritive factors: III. Feed form affects broiler performance by modifying behavior patterns. Poultry Science 84: 403-411.
SVIHUS, B. (2011a) Limitations to wheat starch digestion in growing broiler chickens: A brief review. Animal Production Science 51: 583-589.
SVIHUS, B. (2011b) The gizzard: function, influence of diet structure, and effects on nutrient availability. World's Poultry Science Journal 67: 207-223.
SVIHUS, B., JUVIK, E., HETLAND, H. and KROGDAHL, A. (2004) Causes for improvement in nutritive value of broiler chicken diets with whole wheat instead of ground wheat. British Poultry Science 45: 55-60.
SVIHUS, S., SACRANIE, A., DENSTADLI, V. and CHOCT, M. (2010) Nutrient utilization and functionality of the anterior digestive tract due to intermittent feeding and whole wheat inclusion in diets for broiler chickens. Poultry Science 89: 2617-2625.
VAN DER KLIS, J.D. and FLEDDERUS, J. (2007) Evaluation of raw materials for poultry: what's up? Proceedings of European Poultry Science Symposium.
VELLEMAN, S.G., COY, C.S. and EMMERSON, D.A. (2014) Effect of the timing of early feed restriction on broiler breast muscle development and muscle transcriptional regulatory factor gene. Poultry Science 93: 1484-1494.
WALK, C.L., BEDFORD, M.S., SANTOS, T.S., BRADLEY, J.R., WLADECKI, H., PAIVA, D. and MCELROY, A.P. (2012) Extra phosphoric effects of a novel microbial phytase on broiler growth performance. Poultry Science 91: Suppl. 1, p. 18 (abstract).
WALK, C.L., BEDFORD, M.S., SANTOS, T.S., PAIVA, D., BRADLEY, J.R., WLADECKI, H., HONAKER, C. and MCELROY, A.P. (2013) Extra-phosphoric effects of superdoses of a novel microbial phytase. Poultry Science 92: 719-725.
WALK, C.L., SANTOS, T. T. and BEDFORD, M. R. (2014) Influence of superdoses of a novel microbial phytase on growth performance, tibia ash, and gizzard phytate and inositol in young broilers. Poultry Science 93: 1172-1177.
WEURDING, R.E., VELDMAN, A., VEEN, W.A.G., VAN DER AAR, P.J. and VERSTEGEN, M.W.A. (2001b) In vitro starch digestion correlates well with rate and extent of starch digestion in broiler chickens. Journal of Nutrition 131: 2336-2342.
WEURDING, R.E., VELDMAN, A., VEEN, W.A.G., VAN DER AAR, P.J. and VERSTEGEN, M.W.A. (2001a) Starch digestion rate in small intestine of broiler chickens differ among feedstuffs. Journal of Nutrition 131: 2329-2335.
WU, G. (1998) Intestinal mucosal amino acid catabolism. Journal of Nutrition 128: 1249-1252.
ZHANG, X.A., WANG, M., REN, H., ZHAO, R.Q., LI, J.X. and TAN, Z.L. (2007) Effects of early feed restriction on metabolic programming and compensatory growth in broiler chickens. Poultry Science 86: 654-660.
ZIMONJA, O. and SVIHUS, B. (2009) Effects of processing wheat or oat starch on physical pellet quality and nutritional value for broilers. Animal Feed Science and Technology 149: 287-297.
ZUBAIR, A.K. and LEESON, S. (1994) Effect of varying periods of nutrient restriction on growth performance and carcass characteristics of broiler chickens. Poultry Science 73: 129-136.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

World's Poultry Science Journal
  • ISSN: 0043-9339
  • EISSN: 1743-4777
  • URL: /core/journals/world-s-poultry-science-journal
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed