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Effect of partially replacing soybean by broad beans "Vicia faba var minor" on digestibility, growth performances and carcass characteristics in broiler chickens.


The sector of chicken farming in Tunisia relies heavily on imported raw materials rich in proteins such as Soya. The shift for bio- energy use worldwide has led to reduced feed resources for livestock and drastically increased prices in local and international markets. That is, the search for local feed resources is a strategic decision for the durability of agriculture ion the country. Forage leguminous, in particular Vicia faba beans, may be an alternative to replace Soya. Vicia faba beans are relatively rich in energy (2650 Kcal/kg DM) [6]. The concentration in AMEN vary with the age of birds from 2250 (< 20 days) to 2410 Kcal/Kg (De Blas et al., 2003). Wall constituents are characterised by the presence of pentosans that are able to absorb water 20 to 50 times their weight. Vicia Faba beans include 13-14 % of cell wall slightly lignified, 3 % of soluble sugars and 6.5 % of oligosaccharides easily digestible by the microbial flora, which are not, however, hydrolysable by digesting enzymes [3]. The content of Vicia Faba beans in starch is around 45 % and is easily digestible [8]. Proteins in Vicia Faba beans account for 27 to 34 % of total DM, which is appealing for including these beans in animals' diets, especially chickens. Compared to Soya beans, Vicia Faba beans are rich in lysine but have low contents in sulfur amino acids and tryptophane [10]. However, the presence of anti nutritive compounds such as tannins, vicine, convicine, lectines and trypsic inhibitors reduce essentially the digestion of proteins [4]. Some physical (hulling, grinding) or thermal (granulation, extrusion) treatments may reduce inhibitor effects of antinutritive substances to incorporate faba beans in chickens' diets. The objective of this work was to study the effect of partially substituting Soya by Vicia Faba beans digestibility of some constituents, production performances and carcass characteristics.

Materials and methods

Fattening trial and Carcass traits:

The essay was carried out aver a period of 42 days. A total of 180 Hubbard JV chicks (mean weight at the begging of the trial was 44 g) were used in the trial. All birds were vaccinated against the Gumboro, Infectious Bronchitis and Newcastle diseases. Birds were randomly allotted to 6 pens of 30 birds each to receive one of two diets: A control (C) or an experimental (F) diet. The C diet was based on maize and Soya and in the F diet, the maize and Soya were partially replaced by Vicia faba Beans. The composition of both diets is given in tables 1 & 2. Starter concentrate were crumbled but grower concentrates were granulated. Live body weight (BW in g), daily weight gains (DWG in g/bird/day), feed intake FI (g/bird/day), feed conversion ratio FCR and mortality M (%) were measured throughout the experimental period. At the end of the fattening period, 24 male birds (4x3x2) with 2054 g ([+ or -] 80 g) body weight were slaughtered following a 16 hours water deprivation to measure hot and chilling carcass yields (HCY and CCY in %) and proportions of breast (BY) (%) and thighs (TH) (%).

Digestibility trial:

Digestibility of starter and grower concentrates was measured on 17 chicks of 24 days of age with mean live body weights equal to 950 g. Each bird was lodged in a metabolic cage. Each cage was equipped with a manger, a watering and a floor tray to record individual feed intake and faeces of birds following Bourdillon et al., [2]. Digestibility of DM (DMD in %) and organic matter (OMD in %) and nitrogen retention (NR in %) were determined.

Chemical analyses:

Chemical analyses of DM, OM, and total nitrogen of aliments and faeces were carried out following the A.O.A.C [1]. Contents in total phenols and tannins (g eq tannic acid /kg DM), and condensed tannins (g eq leucocyanidin/kg MS) were determined using Makkar et al. [7] procedure. Proportions of amino acids and minerals were deduced.

Statistical analysis:

All experimental data were subjected to the analysis of variance and treatment effects were compared using orthogonal contrasts following a one way analysis of variance using the ANOVA procedure of SAS [11]. All statement of differences were based on significance of P<0.05.

Results and discussion

Growth performances and Carcass traits:

Results on treatment (T and F) effects on live body weigh, BWG, feed intake; conversion ratio and mortality are given in tale 3. These results are in agreement with those reported by Metayer et al. [8]. Performances were comparable (P$ 0.643) between both bird groups. The incorporation of Vicia Faba beans did not seem to negatively affect birds' performances in the starter and growth periods.

As for the effect on growth performances, the replacement of maize and soya by faba beans up to 20 % did neither affect hot or cold carcass yields (P$0.569) nor breast or thigh proportions (P [greater than or equal to] 0.109).

Ration digestibility:

Digestibility results are given in table 4. These results showed the relatively slight effect of replacing maize and Soya in the formulation of starter- grower and grower- finisher concentrates by 15 and 20%, respectively. The mean quantities of feed intake, DMD, ODM and NR were comparable for both regimens (P$0.052) and varied from 147 to 181 (g/bird/day), 77.18 to 80.06, 80.60 to 82.89 and 71.32 to 74.45 for grower and finisher concentrates, respectively. Anti nutritive factors presents in the Vicia Faba beans seemed not to depress the valorisation of nutrients in the ration by broiler chicks. Theses findings are in agreement with reports by Nalle et al. [9] who confirmed that the incorporation of faba beans in the ration up to 20% have no side effects on birds' performances. In fact, the contents of the F concentrates in poly-phenols and condensed tannins did not reduce digestibility of aliments and losses in nitrogen were not increased by feeding broilers the proteaginous source. The NR by chicks was comparable for both regimens. Huisman and Jansman., [5] advanced that condensed tannins and the anti-trypsic activity of vegetal protein sources induce losses of indigenous nitrogen and consequently apparent nitrogen digestibility. In this study, correction of the ration by methionine in the grower concentrate and the physical treatment of the faba beans (granulated) have probably limited negative effects of anti nutritive substances.


Results of the current study suggest that Vicia Faba beans are a good alternative to partially replace maize and Soya beans in broilers ration. This replacement may reach 15 to 20% in the starter and grower periods without negatively affecting chicks' production performances. That is, faba beans may be incorporated in crumbled and granulated concentrates. However, a diet adjustment by methionine ought to be used in order to not reduce carcass quality, i.e., have low fat % and maintain acceptable proportions of breast and thighs.


[1.] AOAC., 1995. Official Methods of Analysis. 15th ed. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Washington, DC.

[2.] Bourdillon, A., B. Carre, L. Conan, M. Francesch, M. Fuentes, G. Huyghebaert, W.M.M.A. Janssen, B. Leclerq, M. Lessire, J. McNab, M. Rigoni and J. Wiseman, 1990. European reference method for the in vivo determination of metabolizable energy in poultry: Reproducibility, effect of age and comparison with predicted values. Poult. Sci., 31: 567-576.

[3.] De Blas, C., G.G.Mateos, and P.G. Rebollar, 2003. Tablas FEDNA de composicion y valor nutritivo de alimentos para la formulacion de piensos compuestos (2a ed.).(Fundacion Espanola para el Desarrollo de la Nutricion Animal. Madrid, Espana. p 423.

4. Grosjean, F., A. Bourdillon, F. Rudeaux, D. Bastianelli, C. Peyronnet and L. Lacassagne, 2000. Sciences et techniques avicoles, 32: 17-23.

[5.] Huisman, J. and A.J.M. Jansman, 1991. Dietary effects and some analytical aspects of antinutritional factors in peas (Pisumsativum), common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and soybeans (Glycine max L.) in monogastric farm animals. A literature review. Nutr. Abstr. Rev., 61: 901-921.

[6.] Larbier, M. and B. Leclercq, 1992. Nutrition et alimentation des volailles. Paris, INRA. Eds Paris, France,

[7.] Makkar, H.P.S., 2003. Quantification of tannins in tree and shrub foliage. In: Makkar H.P.S. (Ed.), A laboratory manual. Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp: 102.

[8.] Metayer, J.P., B. Barrier-Guillot, F. Skiba, K. Crepon, I. Bouvarel, P. Marget, G. Duc and M. Lessire, 2003. Valeur alimentaire et utilisation de differents types de feveroles chez le poulet et le coq adulte. In: 5ieme Journees de la Recherche Avicole, ITAVI, Paris, pp: 133-136.

[9.] Nalle, C.L., G. Ravindran and V. Ravindran, 2010a. Nutritional value of faba beans (Vicia faba L.) for broilers: Apparent metabolisable energy, ileal amino acid digestibility and production performance. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 156: 104-111.

[10.] Palandera, S., P. Laurinenb, S. Perttilab, J. Valajac and K. Partanenb, 2006. Protein and amino acid digestibility and metabolizable energy value of pea (Pisum sativum), faba bean (Vicia faba) and lupin (Lupinus angustifolius) seeds for turkeys of different age. Animal feed science and technology, 127: 89-100

[11.] SAS Institute Inc., 2001. Procedures Guide, Second Edition, Volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4. Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc.

M.H. Ayed

Department of Animal production Higher Institute of Agriculture-Chatt Mariem, University of Souuse-Tunisia

Corresponding Author

M.H. Ayed, Department of Animal production Higher Institute of Agriculture-Chatt Mariem, University of Souuse-Tunisia
Table 1: Feed characteristics

Regimen                            (T)              (F)

                                   Starter  Grower  Starter  Grower
Raw material (%)
Corn                               60       67      52       56
Soybean meal 47 %                  33.85    27.9    25.8     17.85
Faba beans                         --       --      15       20
Fat                                2        1       3        2
DL-methionine                      0.15     0.1     0.2      0.15
Premix *                           4444

Nutritive value
ME Kcal/kg                         3213     3223    3235     3227
Crude protein(%)                   22.09    19.67   21.85    19.66
Lysine(%)                          1.24     1.07    1.22     1.07
Methionine+cysteine(%)             0.93     0.81    0.91     0.77
Total Phenols (g eq tannic/kg MS)  3.45     3.17    3.51     6.69
Total Tanins (g eq tannic/kg MS)   0.49     0.97    Nd **    Nd **
Condensed Tanins (g eq
  leucocyanidine/kg MS             2.04     1.08    1.12     7.13

Nd ** Non detected

Table 2: Growth Performances of C and F diets

Regimen   [BW.sub.mitial] (g)   [BW.sub.Knal] (g)   [] g)

C         41.79                 2168.5              54.532
F         42.81                 2145.0              53.691
MSE *     0.809                 62.98               1.654
Prob.     0.426                 0.804               0.737

Regimen   [] (g)   []   [] (%)

C         100.153               1.83               4.81
F         99.627                1.85               5.56
MSE *     4.265                 0.40               1.28
Prob.     0.934                 0.877              0.643

Regimen   [BW.sub.mitial] (g)

C         41.79
F         42.81
MSE *     0.809
Prob.     0.426

MSE * : Mean square error

Table 3: Effects of diets C and F on HCY, CCY, TY and BY (%)

Regimen   BW (g)   HCY (%)   CCY (%)   TY (%)   BY (%)

T         2191a    72.89     71.97     30.28    30.29
F         2173a    73.84     72.75     30.89    30.86
MSE *     35.167   0.569     0.810     0.864    1.027
Prob.     0.711    0.249     0.483     0.624    0.109

MSE * : Mean square error

Table 4: Digestibility of the control (C) and Vicia faba (F)

                          Starter feeds

               FI (g)   DMD (%)   OMD (%)   NR (%)

C              147.22   77.37     80.43     71.82
F              146.82   76.99     80.78     70.82
MSE            4.723    1.132     1.377     1.117
Prob.          0.953    0.819     0.085     0.587

Grower feeds
C              182.70   79.38     82.29     76.39
F              178.39   80.74     83.50     72.51
MSE *          7.075    0.453     0.459     0.868
Prob.          0.673    0.052     0.082     0.063

* :Mean square error
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Title Annotation:Original Article
Author:Ayed, M.H.
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6TUNI
Date:Jul 1, 2011
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