Academic article

Influence of graded levels of brewers dried grains on pellet quality and performance in broiler chickens

Denstadli, Vegard; Ballance, Simon; Knutsen, Svein Halvor; Westereng, Bjørge; Svihus, Birger

Publication details

Journal: Poultry Science, vol. 89, p. 2640–2645–6, 2010

Issue: 12

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 0032-5791
Electronic: 1525-3171

Open Access: none


The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of a gradual substitution of wheat and soy with brewers dried grains (BDG) on pellet quality, performance, and organ weights in broiler chickens. Five diets were formulated in which 0, 10, 20, 30, or 40% BDG replaced wheat and soy, with a concomitant gradual reduction in the calculated AME level. Each of the 5 experimental diets was fed to 12-d-old broiler chickens (Ross 308) kept in 6 pens, with 12 birds/pen. The birds had ad libitum access to feed and water until termination of the experiment at d 33. Feed intake was not affected by BDG inclusion and compensatory feed intake did not occur, perhaps having been neutralized by a significant (P < 0.001) reduction in the pellet durability index. The pellet durability index was 85% in the control diet (0% BDG) and decreased significantly (P < 0.001) to 68% in the diet with 40% BDG. Increased levels of BDG reduced BW gain significantly (P < 0.001) and led to a significant (P < 0.001) increase in the feed: gain ratio. The feed: gain ratio was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in birds fed 30 and 40% BDG compared with birds fed 0, 10, and 20% BDG. The apparent ileal digestibility values of protein and energy were significantly reduced by BDG inclusion (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively), whereas starch digestibility increased significantly (P < 0.001). The relative gizzard weight increased significantly (P < 0.001), whereas the relative cecal weights were not affected by BDG inclusion. To conclude, 10 to 20% inclusion of BDG supports acceptable growth and feed utilization, and favors the development of a well-functioning gizzard.