Effect of soaking, fermentation with lactobacillus and enzyme treatment on nitrogen‐corrected apparent metabolizable energy values of wheat in cockerels and quails

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Wheat is an important ingredient in broiler diets and is a common cereal in grower and finisher diets (Rebole et al., 2010). However, the chemical composition and energy availability of wheat can vary (Kim et al., 2003). In a survey of 18 wheat cultivars, Kim et al. (2003) reported that starch contents ranged between 58.5% and 73.7%, crude protein (CP) between 9.7% and 19.1% and non‐starch polysaccharides (NSP) between 7.8% and 11.0% (on a DM basis). Mollah et al. (1983) found metabolizable energy (ME) ranging between 11.0 and 14.9 MJ/kg of DM when 22 wheat samples were fed to growing broiler chickens. It is well known that the presence of soluble NSP, such as arabinoxylans, in wheat grains can affect nutrient utilization adversely and decrease growth performance of poultry (Rebole et al., 2010). The antinutritive effects of soluble NSP are mainly attributable to a high viscosity of digesta associated with increased levels of microbial populations in the intestinal tract (Parsaie et al., 2007).
Scott (2002) confirmed observations by others (Svihus et al., 1997a; Scott and Campbell, 1999) that wet‐feeding wheat‐based diets mimicked the effect of supplementing the diets with a commercial xylanase enzyme, except that wet feeding substantially increased feed intake and growth rate in all wheat‐based diets and not just those with high levels of soluble NSP. Yasar and Forbes (2000) speculated that pre‐soaking wheat‐based diets activated endogenous enzymes as well as increased the time when these enzymes were active before the feed was consumed. Similar results were observed with germinated grain fed to broilers (Svihus et al., 1997a,b; Scott and Campbell, 1999) and with fermented diets fed to minks (Skrede et al., 2001). Soaking and germination of whole barley prior to feeding have been shown to increase the performance of broiler chickens to the same extent as addition of β‐glucanase to the diet (Svihus et al., 1997a), and this has been attributed to activation of enzymes in the grain. It has been reported previously that mixed‐linked (1→3)(1→4)‐β‐glucans were degraded during controlled short‐time fermentation of wheat and barley meals, using a Lactobacillus strain isolated from rye sourdough (Skrede et al., 2001, 2002). When the fermented barley and wheat were fed to broiler chicken, increased digestibility of total carbohydrates and starch and reduced faecal moisture were observed (Skrede et al., 2003).
However, there is lack of reports regarding the effect of nitrogen‐corrected apparent metabolizable energy (AMEn) values of wheat processed by soaking and fermentation with lactobacillus (FL) alone or in combination with exogenous enzymes using cockerels and quails. Therefore, the objective of the experiment was to evaluate AMEn values of wheat processed by soaking, FL and enzyme treatments in cockerels and quails.
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