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Litter quality in poultry production. Relationship between the feeds and the physical characteristics of excreta

INRA Prod. Anim., 8 (5), 331-334.


1INRA Station de Recherches Avicoles 37380 Nouzilly

2INRA Laboratoire de Technologie Appliquée à la Nutrition, BP 527, 44026 Nantes Cedex


The current paper contains further results of a previous experiment in which predictions of water consumption and excretion were established for meat turkey-poults. The results, here, concern the prediction of the physical aspect of excretas.

The excretas of turkey poults fed on 27 different pelleted diets were analyzed for their sticky properties using a rheometer designed for pastes. Visual scores for structural defects were also assigned to the excreta. The sticking level and the visual score were positively correlated (R2 = 0.26 ; n = 216) between themselves, and were each positively correlated to the water content of excretas (R2 = 0.23 and R2 = 0.55, respectively ; n = 216). These measurements (mean values per diet) were related to the diet analyse using multiple linear regressions. The best equations were obtained with the variables "real applied viscosity" (RAV) and "cell wall retained water" (Watercw). The coefficients of RAV and Watercw variables were positive and negative, respectively. The R2 values of regression lines were 0.485 and 0.819 for the sticking level and the visual score, respectively. The water retention capacity of cell walls from diets depended on those of raw materials introduced in diets and on outlet pelleting temperature. The highest temperatures led to a reduction in the water retention capacity of cell walls. The latter capacities varied in a wide range (1:4 minimum : maximum ratio) between raw materials.

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