Effects of feed shape on performance of commercial broiler chickens


Effects of feed shape on performance of commercial broiler chickens

Commercial broilers can achieve good growth rates if they can meet their daily nutritional needs. To some extent, the bird's daily nutrient requirements depend on the nutrient content of the diet; however, it is the feed or nutrient intake that the bird actually responds to. In order to obtain a good growth rate and effective nutrient utilization in commercial broiler chickens, the key is that the chickens have a good feed intake. Feed shape has a crucial impact on feed intake. Poor feed shape can inhibit feed intake and negatively impact bird growth rates. Both feed nutrient concentration and feed shape are optimal to maximize feed intake and maximize the performance of commercial broiler chickens.


Effects of feed shape on performance of commercial broiler chickens

The effect of feed shape on the performance of commercial broiler chickens

In general, the feed fed to modern commercial broilers is pelletized. Pelletized poultry feed can increase bird weight gain compared to untreated meal. 

In part, this improvement in performance is due to increased feed intake. 

Feeding pellets to the flock also reduces energy consumption during feeding. Thus, the energy used for growth and development increases accordingly.


A high-quality pellet feed will enhance this benign effect. High-quality pelleted feed should have strong pellet persistence and low powder content. Persistence refers to the ability to keep feed pellets intact during feed handling and transport. 

The poor persistence of feed pellets will cause the pellets in the feed to be damaged and the feed powder fine particles to gradually increase. 

Gradually increasing the fine particle size of the feed will affect the growth rate of the flock and increase the feed to meat ratio.


In order to give full play to the production performance of commercial broiler chickens, the accumulation of fine powder particles in the feed should be minimized.


Improve feed conditions

Feed conditions, especially the accumulation of fine powdery particles in the feed, result in poor pellet quality, which can negatively impact the performance of commercial broilers. The results of field investigation showed that some chicken flocks were fed with only 28-37% complete pellets, and poor quality pellets was a very important factor hindering the ideal production performance of commercial broiler chickens.


How to improve the quality of pellets?


Factors affecting the quality of pellets:


  • The raw material of the ration
  • Dietary fat content 
  • The particle size of the diet


Raw material

Wheat and its by-products have good viscous properties to obtain better particle quality. The lack of stickiness in corn results in poor kernel quality. The particle breakage of corn-based formula feed is much more serious than that of wheat-based formula feed. The addition of wheat is beneficial for improving pellet quality, but may compromise the flexibility of minimum cost diet formulations.


Dietary fat

Adding more than 2% fat to the feed mixer, especially for corn-based formula diets, will reduce the quality of pellets. In any case, a certain amount of fat is allowed to be added to the diet before pelleting, but it cannot affect the pellet quality of the feed.


The size of granule

The general assumption is that grinding raw materials into finer powder particles will improve the quality of pelleted feed; however, the scientific basis for this is not very clear. 

The potential benefits of grinding raw materials to a finer powder to improve pellet quality must be balanced against the increased energy costs associated with doing so by the feed mill. 

In the case of poor pellet quality and a high likelihood of pellet breakage, grinding the raw material into a finer powder will result in an increase in the powdered pellets in the feed and negatively impact the performance of commercial broilers.


Chicken food for commercial broilers

Compared with the feed with coarser pellets, the feed pellets that are too fine will increase the waste of feed and increase the energy consumption during feeding, and the intake of nutritionally unbalanced diets due to picky eaters.


Flocks prefer coarser to finer pelleted feed, and this preference is often associated with increased feed intake and improved flock performance.


When the quality of feed pellets is poor and the pellets are damaged, the use of feed with coarser pellets may be beneficial to the performance of the flock. Rather than feeding pellets that are more easily broken into fine powders, it is better to feed better quality coarse pellets. The uniformity of feed pellets is also important for flock performance.

 Flocks fed diets with uniform particle size also had better production performance, increased feed intake, and grew faster. Flocks are more likely to eat uniformly sized feed and are less picky eaters. 

The uniformity of the pellets is also good for the quality of the pelleted feed. If the feed pellets in the pellets are all the same size, the chance of pellet breakage is relatively small.


Feed particle size has a great impact on the performance of commercial broilers; feed particles that are too fine will reduce feed intake and growth rate. However, feed pellets that are too coarse can also have a negative impact on the performance of commercial broilers. 

What kind of pellet feed can maximize the performance of the chicken flock? 

In fact, the existing data is still not enough to answer this question. The data provided by NiretAl. (1994) suggested that the optimum particle size of the brooding material should be 0.7-0.9mm in the case of powder. 

If pellet feed is used, Aviagen recommends that 0-10-day-old flocks should be fed sieved crushed pellets, 11-28-day-old feed pellets with a particle diameter of 2-3mm, and 29-day-old flocks To the market feeding pellets with a diameter of 3mm. 

There is currently no data on the optimal particle size of the raw materials for making pellets. This depends on factors such as different raw materials and feed mill equipment and feed processing. 

The general principle is that the raw pellets used to make pellets should be fine enough to ensure pellet quality without affecting flock performance. To achieve this balance, the quality of pellets should be regularly monitored in conjunction with flock performance.



The ideal feed intake is the basis for efficient use of feed and optimal growth rate in the flock. Pellets quality/feed shape has a very important impact on feed intake and growth rate. 

Poor pellet quality can result in reduced feed intake by birds. It is important to understand the error between the nutrient content of the feed (as determined by the nutritionist) and the actual intake by the birds, and to minimize the gap between the two. Improving the quality of pelleted feed plays a very important role in the performance of chicken flocks.

See also:

Economic Benefits of Chicken Farming

Broiler Body Weight


Post a Comment


Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.
Javascript DisablePlease Enable Javascript To See All Widget