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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 53(10)

The kinetics of starch and nitrogen digestion regulate growth performance and nutrient utilisation of broilers fed coarsely ground, sorghum-based diets

S. Y. Liu A, P. H. Selle A B and A. J. Cowieson A

A Poultry Research Foundation within the University of Sydney, 425 Werombi Road, Camden, NSW 2570, Australia.
B Corresponding author. Email: peter.selle@sydney.edu.au

Animal Production Science 53(10) 1033-1040 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN12364
Submitted: 17 October 2012  Accepted: 23 January 2013   Published: 9 April 2013

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A study was conducted to examine the effect of starch and nitrogen digestion kinetics on broiler performance using sorghum-based diets as a model. Three sorghum varieties with red, white and yellow pericarps and three feed forms, mash, intact pellets and reground pellets, constituted a 3 × 3 factorial array of dietary treatments. Starch and nitrogen digestion kinetics were determined using an exponential mathematical model to relate digestion coefficients in the proximal jejunum, proximal ileum and distal ileum with mean retention times in each segment. There were interactions between sorghum variety and feed form for starch and nitrogen digestion kinetics. Steam-pelleting at a conditioning temperature of 90°C (unprocessed mash versus reground pellets) substantially influenced starch digestion rate in red and yellow sorghum-based diets, but not in white sorghum-based diets. Alternatively, with nitrogen digestion rate, there were no significant differences in yellow sorghum-based diets between feed forms but there were in red and white sorghum-based diets. The digestion rate of starch was more rapid than nitrogen, especially in the proximal jejunum. Starch digestion rates were significantly correlated with nitrogen retention but this was not the case with nitrogen digestion rates. The rate of glucose absorption from predicted glycaemic indices was highly correlated with enhanced feed efficiency. Thus this study demonstrates that even under ad libitum feeding regimes, kinetics of starch and protein digestion regulated feed efficiency and nitrogen retention in broiler chickens. The dynamics of starch and protein digestion were more accurate indicators of feed efficiency and nitrogen retention than apparent ileal starch and nitrogen digestibility.

Additional keywords: apparent metabolisable energy, digestion rates, feed efficiency, nitrogen retention, protein, retention times, synchronous absorption.


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