Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the nutritional value of four cultivars (Santana, Miami, Courier and Rex) of peas ( Pisum sativum L.) for broilers. In Experiment 1, the apparent metabolisable energy (AME) and the apparent ileal amino acid digestibility of these four cultivars were determined. The cultivar effects were found to be not significant ( P > 0.05) for the AME and apparent ileal digestibility of amino acids, with the exception of arginine, which was lower ( P < 0.05) in Courier than other cultivars. In Experiment 2, using the energy and digestible amino acid values determined in Experiment 1, diets containing 200 g/kg of the four cultivars of peas were formulated and the effects of feeding these diets on the performance and digestive tract development of broiler starters was investigated. Weight gain, feed intake and feed per gain of broiler starters fed diets containing peas were similar ( P > 0.05) to those fed the maize-soybean meal diet. In general, the digestive tract development was unaffected ( P > 0.05) by the inclusion of peas. The excreta scores of birds fed diets based on Santana, Miami and Rex were similar ( P > 0.05) and that of the Courier-based diet was lower ( P < 0.05) than those fed the maize-soy control diet. These results suggest that peas are good sources of metabolisable energy and digestible amino acids, and that they can be included at 200 g/kg level as a partial replacement for soybean meal in broiler starter diets without adverse effects on performance.
Animal Production Science – CSIRO Publishing
Published: Jan 28, 2011
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