1. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the use of date fibre as a partial replacement of maize as a source of energy for growing broiler chicken. In experiment 1, date fibre was given alone to determine apparent metabolisable energy (AME) and apparent ileal digestibility of amino acids and crude fibre. 2. Date fibre had lower AME content (8.7 vs 13.6 MJ/kg) and apparent ileal digestibility coefficients for dry matter (0.35 vs 0.83), crude fibre (0.20 vs 0.54) and amino acids. 3. Based on the results of experiment 1, a growth study was conducted to test the effect of exogenous enzymes on the nutritive value of date fibre (experiment 2). 4. Three date fibre contents (5, 10 and 15%) with and without enzyme supplementation were evaluated. Daily feed intake, body weight gain and feed conversion ratio were measured. At the end of experiment 2, 160 birds were randomly selected and slaughtered to evaluate carcase and meat quality traits as well as measuring ileal viscosity. 5. Substitution of maize by 10 and 15% date fibre significantly depressed AME. Enzyme supplementation did not improve crude fibre digestibility. The inclusion of date fibre in the diets except at 5% decreased average daily gains, feed intake and feed conversion ratio. 6. Addition of date fibre caused a significant increase in the weights of total digestive tract, pancreas and caecum. Addition of date fibre or the exogenous enzyme had no significant effect on carcase or meat quality characteristics. 7. Date fibre increased ileal digesta viscosity compared to the control. Addition of the exogenous enzyme decreased the viscosity of the basal diets but had no effect on the date fibre diets. 8. This study indicated that date fibre can be included at levels of 5% in broiler diets without affecting performance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology