Starch digestion in the small intestine of broiler chickens differs among feedstuffs

R.E. Weurding, A. Veldman, W.A.G. Veen, P.J. van de Aar, M.W.A. Verstegen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Dietary starch is the major energy source for broiler chickens, and knowledge about its digestive behavior can be important. In a digestibility trial with 720 broiler chickens, site, rate and extent of starch digestion were measured for 12 feedstuffs. Starch digestion was determined using the slaughter technique, which involves removal of the small intestine from the recently killed chicken, with manual collection of the contents. Starch digestion coefficients were calculated from remaining starch in three segments of the small intestine and in excreta. Mean retention time in four segments of the small intestine was measured. This enabled calculations for starch digestion rate (kd). Ileal starch digestibility varied from 33øpotato starch) to 99øtapioca). Retention time for digesta in the postduodenal small intestine varied from 136 min (barley diet) to 182 min (potato diet). On the basis of starch digestion rates, a distinction was made between slowly digestible starch (kd < 1 h-1), gradually digestible starch (kd: 1-2 h-1) and rapidly digestible starch (kd > 2 h-1). Starch from common beans was digested most slowly (kd: 0.5 h-1), and starch from tapioca was digested most rapidly (kd: 4.3 h-1). Starch digestion rates of potato starch and legume seeds were lower than those of cereal grains and tapioca. Degradation of starch entering the hind gut of the birds did not occur. Milling of corn affected rate, but not the extent of starch digestion. We concluded that site of starch digestion within the small intestine is not an accurate indicator for starch digestion rate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2329-2335
JournalThe Journal of Nutrition
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2001

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Starch digestion in the small intestine of broiler chickens differs among feedstuffs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this