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Conditioning time and sodium bentonite affect pellet quality, growth performance, nutrient retention and intestinal morphology of growing broiler chickens

Published: November 3, 2021
By: A. Attar 1, H. Kermanshahi 1, A. Golian 1, A. Abbasi Pour 1 & A. Daneshmand 1,2 / 1 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran; 2 School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, Australia.

1. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of conditioning times and processed sodium bentonite (PSB)-based pellet binder (G. Bind™) on pellet quality, performance, small intestine morphology, and nutrient retention in growing broiler chickens (d 11–24).

2. A total of 540, one-day-old male broiler chicks were fed a commercial starter diet (d 1–10). On day 11, birds were assigned to a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement including two conditioning times (2 and 4 min) and three levels of PSB (0, 7.5 and 15 g/kg) with six replicates of 15 chicks each. Feed intake and weight gain were recorded to calculate growth performance. The jejunal segment and excreta samples were collected to determine intestinal morphology and nutrient retention, respectively.

3. Diets produced with 2 min conditioning time and containing 15 g/kg PSB increased (P < 0.05) pellet durability index and hardness. Conditioning time and PSB levels had no significant effect on growth performance. The inclusion of PSB to broilers diet increased (P < 0.05) energy usage of the pelleting machine. Chickens fed the diet conditioned for 2 min and containing 15 g/kg PSB had the lowest (P < 0.05) relative jejunal length. Two minutes conditioning of diets containing 15 g/kg PSB increased (P < 0.05) apparent metabolisable energy retention in broilers.

4. It was concluded that 2 min conditioning of diet containing 15 g/kg PSB improved pellet quality and nutrient retention of broiler chickens, while the main effects of conditioning time and PSB levels were controversial in most evaluated parameters.


Key words: Broiler, conditioning time, intestinal morphology, nutrient retention, pellet quality, processed sodium bentonite.


Abstract published in British Poultry Science, 60:6, 777-783, DOI: 10.1080/00071668.2019.1663493.

Related topics:
Amir Attar
Javaneh khorasan
Hassan Kermanshahi
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad - Irán
Abolghasem Golian
Alireza Abbasipour
New Millennium Feed Processing Co
Ali Daneshmand
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