Whole Grain Feeding of Broilers

Published on: 08/01/2013
Author/s : Dr. Nischal Sharma (Probiotech Industries Pvt. Ltd)

Introduction In recent times, there has been interest in the utilisation of whole grains to improve bird performance and reduce feed costs. Some previous research on whole grains simply added to a starter diet at graded levels has shown variable results on performance. Some studies have shown improved FCR, lower mortality, plus some carcass i...

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Maheswar Rath Maheswar Rath
BVSc &AH,MVSc &AH,poultry science, Ph.D. Poultry science
August 1, 2013
dear author ji,

I rarely have seen such whole grain concepts of feed to mono gastric animal especially broiler commercial stocks. May i be kindly enlighten what is the advantage of feeding whole grain a supplementation in broiler diet. Yes rural birds graze around and may consume whole grain but even then try to break the grain if possible through the beak. I know bajra a small grain, next is wheat next is maize if we feed to broiler as whole grain then perhaps we may loose and make manure reach and not environmentally friendly. we wish to see that all nutrients are best made available through gut within the specific period.Increase of surface area of each grain through cracking has been the fundamental for best possible enzymatic actions in the gut. Even pellet feed we make fine particles so that good pellet is formed and it is only for better fcr,uniformity,less time spent before feeder,least nutrient lost through fecal materials etc.If any one will think this whole grain may help in gizzard performance like shell grit,M stones etc then i feel these items should also have smallest size if not powder form. Thus i would be thankful to know how the idea of feeding whole grain like cattle is also suggested for poultry and what is expected in future times?dr m rath,india,pune
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Nishchal Nishchal
Animal Nutritionist
September 2, 2013
Thank you Dr. Rath for the question. I was interested to know if this feeding program works? If it works, it can save the grinding cost of some parts of energy diets and also the feed mill efficiency would be increased by around 25-30% without compromising bird performance. The basic idea is that adding some portion of grains as a whole in diet can trigger gizzard action and hypertrophy of gizzard muscles. Increased gizzard size could help whole grains stay for longer time and secretion of more endogeneous enzymes thereafter. So, the digestibility would not be significantly affected as you mentioned but be certain about the inclusion levels. Incremental dilution from day six and not exceeding 30% till harvest will in most of the cases produce similar or more good results.So, you can see some literature from literature from Svihus as well and can design your own feeding program based on whole grain diets.

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Maheswar Rath Maheswar Rath
BVSc &AH,MVSc &AH,poultry science, Ph.D. Poultry science
September 2, 2013
mr nishal ji,

thank you for making a logical conclusion pulling gizzard hypertrophy and more enzyme availability. I don't agree to such concept as gizzard size is a genetic size with reference to age of the broiler/ layer and any manipulation through such activities is a stress on bird and rather bird will negatively react to performance.One possibility is there if the whole grain stay more time in Gizzard it get soft gradually due to enzymatic and moisture contact which may later gradually pass the gut after the gizzard allow the particle to pass to intestine.In this process of 30% whole grain feeding is not comparable with the pellet or compound commercial feed.Thank you sir. dr m rath.


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Nishchal Nishchal
Animal Nutritionist
September 4, 2013
Thank you for posting your views.
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Asif Cheema Asif Cheema
M.SC. (Honors) A.H- Nutrition
October 13, 2013
Dear Dr. Sharma, I have read your artcicle Feeding of whole grains to Broilers. this type of experiments had been conducted before and showed different results. Sometimes better weight gain and better FCR are shown but I do not agree to that I had many times experienced that when the birds are fed whole grains like different weeds present in the wheat middlings. The seeds got germinated and grew to plants when the litter (collected from such birds who were fed those whole grains)was applied to soil.
Nature has provided every seed with a protective coat (layer)which protects the seed. So we have to break that layer to facilitate digestion and absorption in the domesticated birs.
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May 17, 2020
I just want to know the quantity or the ratio of the whole grain needed for broilers
Thank you sir much
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May 17, 2020

I want to know more on how to mix them, feeding them from starter to finisher.
Thank you.

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