Improving pellet quality (PQ) by increasing the percentage of pellets in finished feed is complicated. The hurdles of feed manufacturing are well documented. Researchers continue to investigate the effects of PQ on various performance parameters, yet additional PQ benefits must be presented to stimulate change in feed manufacturing practices. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of PQ on nutrient segregation in commercial broiler houses differing in feed line length. Four experiments (Exp) were performed, each including 4 replicate feed lines segmented into 8 regions. A commercial broiler finisher diet was manufactured using techniques to create either poor pellet quality (PPQ) or improved pellet quality (IPQ) feeds. Exp1 and Exp2 were conducted to investigate how PPQ and IPQ feed contributes to nutrient segregation in a 152-m feed line, respectively. Exp3 and Exp4 used the same PPQ and IPQ feed but were carried out in a 152-m house with split feed lines, 76-m long. Feed samples were taken from each feed pan per Exp. Pellets and fines were analyzed separately to determine pellet-to-fine ratio (P:F), pellet survivability, and nutrient concentrations. Segregation of amino acids and phytase were apparent in Exp1 (PPQ-152m), demonstrated by varying concentrations of amino acids and phytase activity across the 8 regions of the feed line (P < 0.05). Phytase segregation was not apparent in Exp2 (IPQ-152m) (P > 0.05). Threonine and phytase segregation occurred in Exp3 (PPQ-76m) (P < 0.05), whereas no evidence of nutrient segregation was observed in Exp4 (IPQ-76m) (P > 0.05). These data suggest that investing in PQ improvements provides a more uniform distribution of nutrients throughout the house.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology