The Liverpool Plains is a fertile agricultural region in New South Wales, Australia. Two sorghums from the 2009 Liverpool Plains harvest, sorghums #3 and #5, were extensively characterised which included concentrations of kafirin and phenolic compounds plus rapid visco-analysis (RVA) starch pasting profiles. Diets based on these two sorghums were formulated to be iso-nitrogenous and iso-energetic and were offered to male Ross 308 broiler chicks from 7 to 28 days post-hatch as either intact pellets or reground mash following steam-pelleting at conditioning temperatures of either 65 or 97°C. Thus the feeding study consisted of a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial array of dietary treatments: two sorghum varieties, two feed forms and two conditioning temperatures. Each of the eight treatments was replicated six times with six birds per replicate cage. Assessed parameters included growth performance, nutrient utilisation, apparent starch and protein (N) digestibility coefficients and disappearance rates from the distal jejunum and distal ileum. Intact pellets supported higher (P <0.001) feed intakes and weight gains by 9.83 and 9.08%, respectively, than reground mash diets. Feed conversion ratios of broilers offered diets steam-conditioned at 97°C were 2.46% inferior (P <0.001) in comparison to 65°C diets and both apparent metabolizable energy (AME) and N-corrected AME (AMEn) were compromised. Broilers offered sorghum #3-based diets significantly (P <0.001) outperformed their sorghum #5 counterparts in terms of weight gain by 3.75% (1,334 versus 1,223 g/bird), FCR by 4.81% (1.524 versus 1.601), AME by 1.06 MJ (13.61 versus 12.55 MJ/kg), ME:GE ratio (ME:GE) by 4.81% (0.806 versus 0.769) and AMEn by 1.03 MJ (12.38 versus 11.35 MJ/kg). The inferiority of sorghum #5 appeared to be associated with higher concentrations of kafirin (61.5 versus 50.7 g/kg) and conjugated phenolic acids, including ferulic acid (31.1 versus 25.6 μg/g). There were no significant differences in jejunal and ileal starch and protein (N) digestibility coefficients between the two sorghums. However, starch to protein (N) disappearance rate ratios from the distal jejunum were significantly (P <0.001) correlated with ME:GE and AME. The multiple linear regression equations indicated that energy utilisation was enhanced by coupling rapidly digestible protein with slowly digestible starch, which suggests that bilateral bioavailability of starch and protein is pivotal to efficient energy utilisation.
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- Broiler chickens
- Ferulic acid