Effect of Rapeseed Meal on Nutrient Digestibility and Gut Morphology in Broiler Chickens

Lidija Peric, Mirko Ivković, Dragan Žikić, Igor Jajić


The study was carried out to determine the effect of rapeseed meal (RSM) on nutrient digestibility and intestinal parameters of jejunum of 21 days old broiler chickens. Three groups of Ross 308 chickens were formed and fed with corn-soy based feed (control group) or feed with inclusion of 10% or 15% of rapeseed meal (low glucosinolate and low eruca acid content). All mixtures were balanced to the same energy and crude protein level.  To determine digestibility, 20 male chickens per treatment were put into metabolic cages. Digestibility was determined by using the method of total collection. Digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, crude protein, fat and energy was determined. At 21 days of age, chickens were sacrificed to obtain samples for morphometric parameters of jejunum. On jejunal samples, villus height and area, crypt depth and villus to crypt ratio were measured as indicators of gut integrity. No significant differences (P>0.05) were observed in any measured digestibility or gut health parameter. Addition of up to 15% of rapeseed meal in well balanced diets of young broiler chicken does not have an adverse effect on both digestibility of nutrients and broiler gut health.


Broilers, digestibility, gut morphology, rapeseed meal

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