Responses of broiler chickens to cottonseed- and soybean meal-based diets at several protein levels

K G Sterling, E F Costa, M H Henry, G M Pesti, R I Bakalli
Poultry Science 2002, 81 (2): 217-26
Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of broiler chicks fed diets with cottonseed meal (CSM) as the major protein source. Experiment 1 was a 3 x 2 factorial with three crude protein levels (17, 20, and 23%) by two protein sources, CSM or soybean meal (SBM). Diets were fed to male broilers (n = 840) in floor pens from 21 to 49 d of age. L-Lysine-HCl was added to keep lysine at 5.22% of protein. Protein source and level had significant (P < 0.001) effects on BW gain (BWG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR), respectively (no source by level interactions). The average BWG were 1.80, 2.00, and 2.00 kg for birds fed CSM-based diets, compared with 1.93, 2.09, and 2.21 for SBM-based diets (17, 20, and 23% protein, respectively). The average FCR were 2.56, 2.31, and 2.25 for CSM-fed broilers and 2.39, 2.16, and 2.08 for SBM-fed broilers. Significant effects of protein source or level were found for percentage of chilled carcass, fillets, tenders, saddles, and fat pads. In Experiment 2, male broiler chicks (n = 336) were used to determine the lysine requirement of chicks fed a corn and CSM-based diet with 20% CSM and 6% SBM. The basal diet contained by calculation 3,200 kcal/kg of ME, 20% CP, and 0.81% lysine. Graded levels of lysine (0.81 to 1.30% in increments of 0.07%) were fed to chicks from 10 to 20 d, and BW and residual feed were measured at 20 d. The requirement, as determined by breakpoint analysis, was 1.023+/-0.01% lysine (R2 = 0.84) for BWG and 1.028+/-0.02% lysine (R2 = 0.56) for FCR. In Experiment 3, a 2 x 2 x 4 factorial arrangement of treatments involved feeding CSM or SBM to male and female broiler chicks (n = 768) from 21 to 42 d at four dietary protein levels (17, 20, 23, and 26% CP). Lysine was kept at 5.5% of the dietary protein and consisted of the calculated minimum level, established in Experiment 2, plus 7%. Protein level, but not source, had a significant effect on BWG and FCR (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively) for males. The average BWG were 1.53, 1.74, 1.78, and 1.81 kg for birds fed CSM compared to 1.46, 1.72, 1.84, and 1.82 kg for those fed SBM (17, 20, 23, and 26% CP, respectively); average FCR were 2.36, 2.14, 2.05, and 1.97 for CSM compared to 2.35,2.04, 1.87, and 1.80 for SBM. Protein source and level significantly (P < 0.05) affected feed intake. Significant effects of protein source or level were found for percentage carcass, fillet, tenders, leg quarters, and fat pads. Females had similar qualitative responses. This study showed that at slightly higher protein levels CSM could replace SBM in broiler grower diets to achieve similar performance.

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