Nutritional value of faba beans for broilers
New Zealand scientists conducted two experiments to evaluate the nutritional value of four cultivars of faba beans (Vicia faba L.) for broilers.
In experiment 1, the apparent metabolisable energy (AME) and ileal amino acid digestibility coefficients of these four cultivars were determined.
The cultivar effects were significant for AME, but ileal amino acid digestibility coefficients were not different between the four cultivars.
The AME value of South Tic cultivar was higher than those of Spec Tic and Broad cultivars, but similar to that of PGG Tic.
In Experiment 2, using the AME and ileal digestible amino acid values determined in Experiment 1, diets containing 200 g/kg of the four cultivars of faba beans were formulated and the effects of feeding these diets on the performance and the digestive tract development of broiler starters were investigated.
Weight gain, feed intake and feed per gain of broilers fed faba bean diets were similar to those fed the maize–soybean meal diet. The performance of birds fed diets containing different cultivars of faba beans was similar.
In general, the digestive tract development was unaffected by the inclusion of faba beans.
The exceptions were the relative empty weight and digesta weight of gizzard which were found to be higher in birds fed diets containing faba beans than those fed the maize–soy diet.
Birds fed faba bean diets had better excreta quality scores than that of the basal diet.
These results suggest that faba beans are good sources of energy and amino acids, and that faba beans can be included at 20% inclusion level as a partial replacement for soybean meal in broiler diets without any adverse effects on the performance.
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