Chicken Feed

Description of the Project.

Student Researcher: Albert

Adult Supervisor: Brian

Scientific Supervisor: Candice
   Research Associate at a Laboratory specializing in this field.

Purpose - Some of my background information from my report so you can understand that there was basis in scientific literature for my research project!:

The development of yellow-seeded forms of canola may lead to a better feed  for poultry. Yellow-seeded canola meals have lower fibre contents as well as higher true metabolizable Energy values  than meals derived from brown-seeded canola (Slominski et al. 1999). A possible alternative to canola meal for poultry is full-fat canola seeds and this has not been extensively studied. MacIsaac et al. (2006) reported that when meat-based protein and energy ingredients were replaced by black full-fat canola and black-seeded derived canola oil in turkey diets, birds had heavier 10-week market body weights. Canola production is Canada is primarily  in western Canada. However, canola production, of both black and yellow varieties, is increasing in eastern Canada. Results from a survey conducted by Bell and Keith (1991) on the chemical composition of commercial black-seeded commercial meals produced in western Canada indicated a variation in  protein content. They attributed the variation to soil and environmental conditions. Not only is there no information available on the use of yellow-seeded full-fat canola for poultry, there is no information on the use of yellow-seeded canola products grown in eastern Canada for poultry.
There is an increased consumer demand for food products to be of superior health quality (Hargis and Van Elswyk 1993). Previous research by Ajuyah and associates (1991) indicated that the inclusion of 20% full-fat black-seeded canola into broiler diets resulted in carcasses enriched in tomega-3 fatty acids. The two fatty acids EPA and DHA are recommended to be the most important fatty acids for the maintenance of cardiovascular health. There is no information available on the fatty acid content of broiler meat products produced from yellow-seeded canola products.
Cost-effective alternatives to traditional feed ingredients have to be made available to poultry producers as well as feed manufacturers in order to increase their competitiveness. Therefore, the objective of this project was to determine the effect of various  brown-seeded and yellow-seeded canola products on the   composition of an important product in today's society - chicken wings.I was particularly interested in the omega6/ omega 3 ratio.

Ajuyah, A.O., Lee, K.H., Hardin, R.T., Sim, J.S. 1991. Changes in Yield and in the fatty acid composition of whole carcass and selected meat portions of broiler chickens fed full-fat oil seeds. Poultry Sci. 70: 2304-2314.
Bell, J.M. and Keith, M.O. 1991. A survey of variation in the chemical composition of commercial canola meal produced in western Canada crusing plants. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 71: 468-480.
Hargis, P.S., and Van Elswyk, M.E. 1993. Manipulating the fatty acid composition of poultry meat and eggs for the health conscious consumer. World Poultry Sci. 49: 251-264
MacIsaac, J.L., MacPherson, S. Anderson, D.M., and Rathgeber, B.R M. 2006. Effect of plant-based feed alternatives on the growth performance and carcass composition of heavy hen turkeys. Poultry Sci. 85 (Supp. 1): 112.
Slominski, B.A., Simbaya, J., Campbell, L.G., Rakow, G., and Guenter, W. 1999. Nutritive value for broilers of meals derived from newly developed varieties of yellow-seeded canola. Anim. Feed Sci Tech. 78: 249-262.

Animals Used: Laying Hen - Gallus domesticus, broiler chickens (Ross x Ross)

Raised at the Research Center - I did not raise or feed the broiler chickens myself - it was all done by qualified workers at the institute. Here is a description from them:

Typically, broiler chickens are grown on average to 35 to 38 days of age with a final live body weight between 1.8kg – 2.0 kg prior to being sent to a commercial processor in preparation for human consumption. Measurements which were conducted on the birds are described in the below section entitled Experimental Design. At 35 days of age, at the termination of the trial, two birds from each treatment were processed in the processing plant located in the Atlantic Poultry Research Centre, Truro, NS where the trial was conducted, to meet the requirements of CFIA for federal inspection of poultry slaughter. The birds were removed from the experimental room, taken to the processing plant and were electronically stunned and killed by exsanguination by the Poultry Unit Manager  who is classified as having a Proficiency Level of 4 (the highest possible proficiency level). Proficiency levels are designated by the Canadian Council of Animal Care. Proficiency levels are monitored by the local Animal Care Committee. I have  a copy of the approved Animal Care Form for this project. Note: If these animals were not used and sampled for proteins, ash and fatty acids, they would have been sold for human consumption. They lived their full life and were taken care of in a humane manner.

Experimental Procedure:
A total of 270 day-old male broiler chicks were randomly put in 45 broiler cages. Water and feed were provided ad libitum throughout the trial. The experiment was a one-way analysis in a completely randomized design with protein and energy source (soybean meal/poultry by-product meal/poultry fat, western-grown full-fat yellow-seeded canola (recommended low level (5%)) + yellow-seeded derived canola oil, western-grown full-fat yellow-seeded canola (high level (10%)) + yellow-seeded derived canola oil, eastern-grown full-fat yellow-seeded canola (recommended low level (5%)) + yellow-seeded derived canola oil, eastern-grown full-fat yellow-seeded canola (high level (10%)) + yellow-seeded derived canola oil, western-grown full-fat black-seeded canola (recommended low level (5%)) + black-seeded derived canola oil, western-grown full-fat black-seeded canola (high level (10%)) + black-seeded derived canola oil, eastern-grown full-fat black-seeded canola (recommended low level (5%)) + black-seeded derived canola oil, eastern-grown full-fat black-seeded canola (high level (10%)) + black-seeded derived canola oil) as the main effect.  All diets were formulated to have the same amount of protein and the same number of calories as the control diet.. At 14, 25 and 35 days of age, the birds were weighed as a group per cage. Feed was weighed in as required and was available ad libitum. Feed was weighed back on each weigh day and as mortality occurred. Feed efficiency was calculated from the corresponding feed consumption and weight gains. All of the birds were managed in accordance with the local Animal Care and Use Committee guidelines that follow CCAC guidelines (1993).
At 35 days of age, 4 birds per cage were commercially processed (as they normally would be at that age). Two eviserated whole carcasses per cage were frozen for subsequent carcass dry matter, protein, fat and ash content analyses which is where I became involved. Each eviscerated whole carcass were ground using a Hobart meat grinder and a representative sample was weighed and freeze-dried to determine dry matter content. The dried samples were further ground and nitrogen content determined by the Dumas method (Ebeling 1968) using a Leco Nitrogen Determinator (Leco Corporation, St. Joseph, MI). Crude protein content was calculated as N x 6.25. Each carcass was analyzed for crude fat extracted by petroleum ether using a 1047 Hydrolyzing Unit and Soxtec System (HT) (Tecator Company, Herndon, VA). Ash content of the carcasses were determined by burning in a muffle furnace at 450°C (AOAC 1984). In addition, 2 eviserated carcasses per cage (from day 35) were cut up, and the fatty acid profile were determined for the wings and breast skin and meat. Fatty acid profiles were determined using gas chromotography. I performed all the analyses and prepared samples for fatty acid analysis (they were sent away).

Association of Official Analytical Chemists. 1984. Official Methods of Analysis. 15th ed. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Washington, DC.
Canadian Council on Animal Care. 1993. Guide to the Care and Use of experimental Animals. 2nd ed. CCAC, Ottawa, ON.
Ebeling, M. E. 1968. The Dumas method for nitrogen in feeds. J. Assoc. Off. Anal. Chem. 51: 766-770.

Note from scientific mentor:
The Three Rs: Replacement, Reduction and Refinement:
Each treatment was replicated 5 times which would allow for sufficient data for a publication in a peer reviewed journal. The trial was a funded, peer-reviewed, scientific research project prepared and conducted by the  Research Institute whose mandate is to conduct scientific research based on the research priorities of the regional commercial poultry industry. The production component of the project was completed prior to start of the Student Researchers’ component.  Albert was interested in conducting the carcass composition analyses. In addition, Albert was interested in comparing the fatty acid composition of the cut-up parks with the total fat composition of the eviscerated whole carcasses. He wanted to see if the omega 6/omega 3 ratio of the human diet could possibly be affected and perhaps improved by eating poultry meat that was derived from chickens that were fed full-fat canola seeds.

Potential Risks: Not applicable due to the fact that the birds were already killed and the eviscerated carcasses ground and frozen prior to the Student Researcher performing the carcass analysis.

Potential Benefits:
There is an increased consumer demand for choice in poultry meat based on what the birds are fed. Choice may include all plant-based ingredients in the diet. Full-fat balck and yellow-seeded canola have the potential to replace animal-based sources of protein and metabolizable energy. Further, full-fat yellow-seeded canola has the potential to be used in the production of value-added products by the deposition of omega-3 fatty acids into poultry meat and improvement in the omega-6/omega 3 ratio which is important for good cardiovascular health.


This project was carried out at the  Research Institute, under the direction of a qualified Scientific Supervisor, and so is eligible for presentation at both the Regional Science Fair and the Canada Wide Science Fair.