FEEDING PEA TO MODULATE POST-PRANDIAL METABOLIC RESPONSE: IMPACT ON WELFARE, HEALTH AND PERFORMANCE OF FEED RESTRICTED BROILER BREEDERS
An experiment was conducted for 244 d to investigate the impact of feeding a pea or wheat based diet on post-prandial metabolic status, production, health and welfare of feed restricted broiler breeders. A wheat- or pea-based diet was fed on an every-other-day basis from 3-15 wk of age and every-day basis thereafter (15-21 wk). At 21 wk of age, broiler breeder pullets were fed either a pea- or wheat-based diet once (OAD; 08:00) or twice (TAD; 08:00, 15:00) a day until the end of experimental period. At 84 d of age, uniformity was improved by feeding a pea-based diet. Broiler breeders fed a pea-based diet resulted in a reduced post-prandial glucose peak and relative liver weight and fat content over the period between meals. A treatment by time interaction showed that less fat was stored in the liver over the period of 48 h as a result of feeding a pea-based diet. Over the 48 h period between feeding, the expression of acetyl CoA carboxylase and VLDL-apolipoprotein was reduced for birds fed pea. Interaction effects of dietary treatment and time demonstrated a reduced degree of change (over the period of 48 h) in the expression of malic enzyme genes in pullets fed a pea-based diet. Birds fed a wheat-based diet demonstrated increased drinking over the 48 h period. Interactions between diet and day showed that pullets fed a pea-based diet expressed increased comfort and resting behavior, and reduced foraging and walking behavior during the off-feed day (24-48 h). Feeding a pea-based diet resulted in reduced levels of serum non-esterified fatty acids and β-hydroxybutyrate starting at 26 to 28 h post-feeding. During the laying phase, feeding the wheat-based diet on TAD basis improved hen-day egg production as compared to the OAD feeding program, but feeding frequency did not affect production of hens fed the pea-based diet. Hens fed the pea-based diet once-a-day had a lower average egg weight than other diet by feeding frequency subclasses. Feeding a pea-based diet reduced total embryonic mortality. In conclusion, feeding a pea-based diet resulted in improved performance and welfare of feed restricted broiler breeders.
slowly digested starch, lipid metabolism, behaviour, body weight uniformity, hatchability, satiety
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Animal and Poultry Science