Processing diets containing corn distillers' dried grains with solubles in growing broiler chickens: effects on performance, pellet quality, ileal amino acids digestibility, and intestinal microbiota

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The present study investigated the effects of feed form and distillers' dried grains with solubles (DDGS) on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, and intestine microbiota in broilers. A total of 720 broilers (Ross 308; average BW 541 ± 6 g) was randomly allotted to 6 treatments on the basis of BW. There were 6 replicates in each treatment with 20 birds per replicate. Birds were fed 3 different feed forms (mash, simple pellet, and expanded pellet) and DDGS (0 or 20% of diet) in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement. Simple pellet (SP) and expanded pellet (EP) fed birds showed an increase in BW gain (P < 0.05). The interaction between feed processing and DDGS level was observed on pellet hardness (P < 0.01). The lowest (P < 0.01) pellet durability index (PDI) and hardness were observed in the diet with DDGS. Values for PDI and hardness were higher for EP compared with SP (P < 0.01). Simple pellet decreased ileal digestibility of CP compared to mash feed. The inclusion of DDGS decreased the digestibility of CP, and tended to decrease digestibility of DM (P = 0.056) and gross energy (P = 0.069). Expanded pellet feeding decreased (P < 0.05) the ileal digestibility of isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, cysteine, and glutamine compared with mash diet. Processed feed increased (P < 0.01) pH in the gizzard and duodenum; however, processing decreased pH in ileum. The addition of DDGS to the diet reduced pH in the duodenum. The population of Lactobacillus spp. was lower in the duodenum of birds fed the EP diet compared to the mash diet. Processed feed increased the colonization of Clostridium spp. in the gizzard. These results indicated that SP and EP in broiler diet had a potential to improve BW gain, but EP compromised amino acid digestibility. In addition, DDGS supplementation (20%) decreased pellet quality and CP digestibility in broiler chickens; however, the growth performance and feed intake were not affected.

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