Feed Intake in Guinea Fowl, Laying Hens and Pheasants as Influenced by Particle Size of Pelleted Diets

Two-millimetre pellets can be fed to guinea fowl, laying hens and pheasants without compromising growth performance, according to new research.
calendar icon 6 May 2011
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V. Tufarelli from the University of Bari in Italy, together with R.U. Khan from the University of Agriculture at Faisalabad in Pakistan and V. Laudadio (also from Bari University) have published a paper on the effect of feed pellet size on the performance of guinea fowl, laying hens and pheasants. Their paper was published recently in International Journal of Poultry Science.

This study investigated the effect of pelleted diets prepared differing by levels of grinding preparation (2 or 4mm) to evaluate pellet quality and diet preferences in adult breeders: guinea fowl (Numida meleagris), laying hens (Gallus domesticus) and pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) to improve our understanding of the diet physical structure influencing feed intake, explain the researchers.

All diets were of identical composition – based on durum wheat, maize and soybean meal – as well as same environment and management were provided for all treatments.

The parameters evaluated in the four-week feeding trial included: live body weight, feed intake, feed efficiency and pellet durability index.

Body weight gain, feed intake and feed efficiency were influenced (p<0.05) by the dietary treatments in each poultry species. The present data suggest that pellet particle size is advantageous in terms of feed intake and efficiency in poultry.

Tufarelli and co-authors conclude that the performance of poultry was significantly higher in birds fed the pelleted diet ground to 2mm. This diet can be fed to guinea fowl, laying hens and pheasants without compromising growth performance.

They added that the results of this study emphasise the importance of pellet diets on poultry feed preference, further trials on feed texture are required to optimise the energy expenditure of grinding.


V. Tufarelli, R.U. Khan and V. Laudadio. 2011. Feed intake in guinea fowl, layer hen and pheasant as influenced by particle size of pelleted diets. International Journal of Poultry Science 10(3): 238-240.
Part of this work was presented to the XXIII World's Poultry Congress in Brisbane, Australia in 2008.

Further Reading

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May 2011
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