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Growth performance and intestinal morphology of Hyline chickens fed diets with different diet particle sizes

Lang, Wuying, Hong, Pan, Li, Ruonan, Zhang, Hao, Huang, Yusheng, Zheng, Xin
Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition 2019 v.103 no.2 pp. 518-524
average daily gain, body weight, chickens, diet, duodenum, feed conversion, feed intake, geometry, growth performance, ileum, jejunum, particle size, pelleted feeds, scanning electron microscopy, villi
The effect of feed particle size on the growth performance and intestinal morphology of Hyline chickens was studied. Sixty one‐day‐old chickens were randomly assigned into two groups with five replicates per group and six chickens per replicate. The control group (CG) was fed pelleted feed and the experimental group (EG) was fed crumbled feed. The geometric mean diameter (GMD) of the pelleted and crumbled feed was approximately 1.2 and 0.8 mm respectively. The trial was carried out from day 15 to day 69 of the lives of the chickens. During the experimental period, the average daily feed intake (ADFI), average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion rate (FCR) were calculated. At 42 and 69 days of age, fifteen chickens from each group were slaughtered for the intestinal morphology analyses. The morphologies of various segments of the intestine were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results showed that from 15 to 42 days of age, the FCR of the CG was higher than that of the EG, but the final body weight was lower in the CG than in the EG (p < 0.05). The villi heights in the duodenum, jejunum and ileum were shorter in the CG than in the EG (p < 0.05). The villi tips in the duodenum and jejunum of the CG were broken, but they were protected in the EG. At 69 days of age, the BW and the whole intestinal villi height of the CG were greater than those of the EG (p < 0.05). The villi in the duodenum and jejunum in the CG were better than 42 days, but the tips of the duodenal villi in the EG were slightly broken. In conclusion, feeding chickens crumbled feed from 15 to 42 days of age and then feeding them pelleted feed was beneficial to the growth performance of the Hyline chickens, as the pelleted feed would break the intestinal villi of young chickens, but the intestinal villi become stronger with the chicken growth.