Evaluation of faba bean (Vicia faba cv. Fiord) as a protein source for broilers
South African Journal of Animal Sciences
Animal and Poultry Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, P/Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
An experiment was conducted, using 960 sexed broiler chicks between 7 and 21 d of age, to measure their response to increasing contents of faba bean in the feed. The experimental design consisted of two sexes, six levels of faba bean (0 to 250 g/kg feed), two feed forms (mash and pellets) and two levels of methionine supplementation (0 and 1.5 g DL methionine/kg feed). Each treatment was replicated twice, using 96 pens and 10 chicks per pen. The responses were the same between sexes and between methionine levels. Where feeds were offered in a mash form, growth rate and feed conversion efficiency (FCE) declined linearly, and food intake increased linearly, with increasing faba bean content, but when the feeds were pelleted, performance was the same on all levels of faba bean, suggesting that heat generated during the pelleting process may have destroyed some heat labile anti-nutritional factor present in the faba bean. As most broiler feeds are pelleted, it would appear that faba beans could be used successfully as an alternative protein source in feeds for broilers, up to an inclusion level of 250 g/kg, when geographic, agronomic and economic conditions favour the use of these beans.