A trial was conducted to evaluate how rapidly one could introduce faba bean in broiler diets and to what maximum level one could feed 3 zero-tannin faba bean cultivars to broiler chickens based on growth performance, carcass traits, and yield of carcass cuts. A total of 662 male broiler chickens (Ross 708) were fed one of 10 dietary treatments over 3 growth phases (starter [Str], day 0–12; grower [Gwr], day 13–25; and finisher [Fnr], day 26–41). Treatment diets included 3 different zero-tannin faba bean cultivars (Snowbird, Snowdrop, and Tabasco), each fed at 3 different inclusions: low inclusion level of 5% in Str, 10% in Gwr, and 20% in Fnr; medium inclusion level of 10% in Str, 20% in Gwr, and 30% in Fnr; and high inclusion level of 15% in Str, 30% in Gwr, and 40% in Fnr. Wheat grain–soybean meal (SBM) diets were fed as control. Faba bean cultivars replaced SBM and wheat grain in phase diets. Neither cultivar nor inclusion level affected overall trial or growth phase BW, ADFI, ADG, G:F, slaughter weight (WT), chilled carcass WT, and proportion of saleable cuts. Carcass dressing was 0.6% units lower for high vs. medium or low faba bean inclusion level (P < 0.05). There was no effect on overall trial or growth phase ADFI and there were only slight reductions (P < 0.05) in BW, ADG, G:F, slaughter WT, chilled carcass WT, dressing percentage, and percentage of drumstick yield in broilers fed the treatment diets including faba bean compared with those fed the wheat–SBM control diet. The control diet's advantage was largely attributed to dehulling and the greater extent of processing to produce SBM vs. feeding raw, merely rolled, faba bean. In conclusion, broiler producers can feed any of the 3 zero-tannin faba bean cultivars evaluated as the most aggressive of the 3 inclusion levels tested (15, 30, 40% for the starter, grower, finisher phase) to maximize faba bean inclusion in broiler diets.
- broiler chicken
- carcass cut
- dietary inclusion
- growth performance
- zero-tannin faba bean cultivar