Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

C. Plitzner, G. Gaber, R. Khidr und R. Leitgeb:

Use of alfalfa meal on growth and slaughter performance of broilers


n this feeding trial with 180 broiler chicks (hybrid line Ross) in 12 pens, the use of 0 % (FG1), 3 % (FG2) and 6 % (FG3) alfalfa meal was investigated. Alfalfa meal substituted mainly maize and soybean meal and the energy lack was completed with soybean oil. The trial was carried out at the poultry trial station, Äussere Wimitz 3, A-9311 Kraig. In the first growing period (day 1 to 21) starter feed with 21 % protein and 12.8 MJME/kg and in the second growing period (day 22 to 35) grower feed with 20 % protein and 13.0 MJME/kg were used and fed ad libitum. The chicks were weighed at the beginning of the experiment, on day 21 and at the end of the growing period on day 35. All animals were slaughtered and the individual weight of bleeded body, eviscerated carcass, roast carcass, gizzard, liver and heart were recorded. Microbial investigations were made from 24 samples of caecum chyme. Breast meat of 36 representative carcasses was tested for tenderness, juiciness and taste.

The LW of FG1, 2 and 3 were 1.93, 1.93 and 1.88 kg and the feed conversion rate 1.83, 1.83 and 1.86. The results of the trial shows, 3 % alfalfa meal in the diets had no negative impact on the growth and slaughter performance. With the application of 6 % alfalfa meal the final LW, feed conversion rate and slaughter performance were slightly negative influenced. The organoleptic test and the number of microorganisms of the caecum chyme showed no negative or positive tendency of the different levels of alfalfa meal in the diets.

Key words: Broiler, alfalfa meal, growth performance, slaughter performance, microorganisms in caecum.