The effects of strain and incremental improvements in feed form on d 28 to 42 male broiler performance

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Feeding high-quality pellets to modern commercial broilers may maximize genetic potential; however, this typically requires an increased cost to produce feed. Therefore, it is important to determine if incremental improvements in feed form (FF) can increase performance of modern broiler strains. The current study was conducted to investigate the effects of feeding modest improvements in feed form (50, 60, 70, or 80% intact pellets; IP) to 2 commercial broiler strains (fast-growing or high-yield) on d 28 to 42 growth performance and processing variables. A common diet was manufactured to contain 80% IP, of which a portion was ground to create a total of 4 FF treatments varying in IP to ground pellet ratios: 50:50; 60:40; 70:30; and 80:20. Fast-growing (FG) birds demonstrated improvements in body weight (BW), BW gain (BWG), and feed conversion ratio (FCR) when compared to high-yield (HY) birds. For the main effect of FF, feeding 80 vs. 50% IP reduced d 28 to 42 FCR. Also, feeding birds 80% IP vs. all other FF treatments improved d 28 to 42 BWG and d 42 BW. A Strain × FF interaction established that FG broilers fed 50, 60, and 70% IP diets had higher d 43 total breast yield than HY birds fed the same FF treatments; however, both strains demonstrated similar total breast yield when 80% IP were fed, which suggests that FG broilers are less sensitive and HY broilers are more sensitive to increasing FF. These data suggest a distinct benefit for feeding improved FF from d 28 to 42 to modern broilers.

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