Feed particle size: Implications on the digestion and performance of poultry

    This review highlights the limited amount of research conducted regarding the optimum particle size of different feeds for efficient poultry production. The current industry practice of using highly processed, pelleted diets masks the influence of particle size, but some reports suggest that the effects of feed particle size on performance may be maintained even after pelleting. There appears to be a general consensus that particle sizes of broiler diets based on maize or sorghum, optimum particle size should be between 600 and 900 µm. Available data clearly show that grain particle size is more critical in mash diets than in pelleted or crumble diets. Although it has been postulated that finer grinding increases substrate availability for enzymatic digestion, there is evidence that coarser grinding to a more uniform particle size improves the performance of birds maintained on mash diets. This counter-intuitive effect may result from the positive effect of feed particle size on gizzard development. A more developed gizzard is associated with increased grinding activity, resulting in increased gut motility and greater digestion of nutrients. Although grinding to fine particle size is thought to improve pellet quality, it will markedly increase energy consumption during milling. Systematic investigations on the relationships of feed particle size and diet uniformity with bird performance, gut health and pellet quality are warranted if efficiency is to be optimised in respect of the energy expenditure of grinding.
    Document information
    Product / service: Phytases, Carbohydrases and Proteases
    Publication date: 01/09/2007
    Species: Poultry
    Authors: Amerah A, Ravindran V, Lentle, RG, Thomas, DG
    Doctype: Publications & Citations
    Publication / conference: World's Poultry Science Journal
    Regions and countries:
    Production challenge(s):
    Diets: All diets
    Brands: Axtra® PHY, Phyzyme® XP, Axtra® XB
    Resource ref:
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