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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Whole cereal grains in broiler nutrition : the come back ?

INRA Prod. Anim., 11(5), 349-357.


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Successes encountered in some northern European poultry farms raise interest for the use of whole cereals grains distributed with a protein concentrate in broiler chicken feeding. The three main types of distribution of whole grains are compared : splitted diets, loose-mix and sequential feeding. Loose-mix and sequential feeding techniques are efficient. These feeding systems allow to control partly the whole cereal and protein concentrate proportions actually ingested by chickens. On the other hand, splitted diets favour the expression of individual factors of food selection, and does not always allow to get growth and body composition as expected by poultry farmers.

Broilers digest whole grain as efficiently as ground cereals. Broilers are able to quickly adapt to a diet including a whole cereal grain, by adjustment of their feeding behaviour. The proportion of cereal grain ingested depends on the physical form and composition of the protein concentrate. Whole cereal grains induce a larger development of gizzard whose effects on digestion and on natural resistance of the birds towards coccidiosis require further research.

The system of loose-mix feeding is mastered and applied in some northern European poultry farms by computer monitored distribution. Sequential feeding is less expensive than loose-mix feeding but remains to be validated in practise. Economical interest of this feeding method for French farmers requires further evaluation.

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