Effect of Dietary Salmon Protein Concentrate on Growth Performance of Broiler Chickens

By Cole Wagner, Graduate Research Assistant; Kristjan Bregendahl, Assistant Professor of Poultry Nutrition and published in the Animal Industry Report 2007, by the Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University
calendar icon 19 March 2007
clock icon 5 minute read

Summary and Implications

In this study, 480 male broiler chicks were used to determine the effects of dietary dried and condensed salmon protein concentrate (SPC) on growth performance. The data presented herein showed that feeding a corn–soybean meal diet containing 11.5% condensed SPC increased the rate of body weight gain by as much as 12% compared to the control diet, whereas dried SPC did not appear to elicit similar growth performance enhancements compared with that of a control diet or a menhaden fishmeal diet.


The intestines of broiler chicks and turkey poults are not fully developed at hatch, taking 10–14 days before nutrient digestibility and energy utilization are maximized. To counter the young animals’ limited abilities to digest plant-derived feed ingredients, starter diets typically include high-quality and sometimes immune-enhancing feed ingredients and additives (e.g., fishmeal, spray-dried plasma protein, antibiotic growth promoters). The special processing techniques employed in the manufacturing of SPC preserve the inherently high-quality nutrients in the natural Alaskan wild salmon. Moreover, the long-chain omega-3 (ω-3) fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), found in high amounts in certain fish oils, generally improve calcium absorption, bone strength, development of brain function and cognition, and health status. In short, SPC is a high-quality feed ingredient with immune-enhancing properties that has the potential to promote growth in young, immature animals, such as broiler chicks.

Material and Methods

Chemical Analysis of Feedstuffs

Chemical analysis of dried and condensed salmon meal and menhaden fishmeal was performed on representative samples prior to diet formulation (Table 1). Prior to chemical analysis, the condensed SPC was freeze-dried and all analyses performed on the freeze-dried material. The content of total amino acids were analyzed by ion-exchange chromatography, whereas the content of available lysine was estimated by the 1-fluoro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNFB) method.

Dietary Treatments

All diets were based on corn and soybean meal and formulated to meet or exceed the National Research Council (1994) nutrient recommendations (Table 2). The experimental diets were formulated using analyzed amino acid values for corn, soybean meal, condensed and dried SPC, and menhaden fishmeal. Menhaden fishmeal (Special Select Menhaden Meal; Omega Protein Corporation, Houston, TX) was included at 5.0% in the positive control diet. Dried and condensed SPC (Alaska Protein Recovery, Juneau, AK) were added to supply equal amounts of total lysine as that of the menhaden fishmeal. Hence, the condensed SPC diet contained 11.5% condensed SPC, whereas the dried SPC diet contained 5.2% dried SPC. Moreover, a diet containing 2.6% dried SPC (i.e., half of that in the 5.2% SPC diet) and a negative control diet, containing no fishmeal, were included among the dietary treatments. All broiler diets contained a coccidiostat (90 g/ton of monensin). The 5 dietary treatments were fed from 0–3 weeks of age (Starter phase) and a common diet was fed from 3–6 weeks of age (Finisher phase).

Housing and Management

A total of 480 1-day-old male broiler chicks (Ross × Ross 308) were obtained from a commercial hatchery. Upon arrival, the chicks were weighed and allotted to floor pens (1.2 × 1.2 m) according to a randomized complete block design. Each pen contained 12 chicks and was equipped with 1 plastic self-feeder and 5 water nipples. The litter consisted of 16-week-old soiled litter (pine shavings) from an on-site broiler barn, thus creating a relatively unsanitary environment in which any immune-enhancing effects of the ω-3 fatty acids in the SPC would be evident. The broilers had free access to feed and water at all times throughout the experiment. Body weights and feed consumption (measured as feed disappearance) were recorded weekly and the feed utilization calculated as the gain-to-feed ratio.

Statistical Analyses

All data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedures appropriate for a randomized complete block design using JMP 5.1 (SAS Institute, Gary, NC) with 8 blocks (replications). The effects on growth performance of the dietary treatments were evaluated using Fisher’s protected least significant difference. Pens served as experimental units and P-values less than or equal to 0.05 were considered significant.

Further Information

To view the full report, including tables, please click here

To view other articles from the Animal Industry Report 2007 click here

March 2007

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.