Whole Sorghum Shows Promise for Feeding Geese

FRANCE - Goose body traits were unaffected by dietary treatment, according to an experiment conducted by researchers based in Toulouse. They investigated different feed presentation and type of cereal (maize versus sorghum) during the force feeding period.
calendar icon 29 August 2012
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The aim of a trial reported by J. Arroyo of the University of Toulouse and co-authors and at INRA in Castanet-Tolosan and ASSELDOR in Coulares in Poultry Science was to study the effects of cereal (maize or sorghum) and of the presentation of the diet (pelleted diet or a mixture with cereal) on the performance of geese.

In total, 480 one-day-old geese were divided into four groups differing in the diet they received between 52 and 102 days of age:

  • a pelleted diet containing 500g of sorghum per kg (CS group; AMEn 11.29MJ per kg, CP 16.7 per cent)
  • a mixture containing 500g of protein-rich pellets and 500g of sorghum whole seeds per kg (MS group; AMEn 11.61MJ per kg, CP 14.3 per cent)
  • a pelleted diet containing 500g of maize per kg (group CC; AMEn 11.33MJ per kg, CP 16.4 per cent), or
  • a mixture containing 500g of protein-rich pellets and 500g of maize mash per kg (group MC; AMEn 11.48MJ per kg, CP 14.5 per cent).

From 102 to 117 days, 33 birds per sex and group were force-fed with maize. Between 52 and 102 days of age, individual bodyweights and collective feed intake (40 birds per pen) were measured weekly. Body traits were measured at 69, 96 and 117 days and the volume of the crop was measured at 102 days of age.

Cereal type had no significant effect on total feed intake (15.028kg) or bodyweight (5.811kg) but the breast development at 102 days was less in birds fed sorghum compared with maize (-4.9 per cent).

Feed intake (+8.4 per cent between 69 and 102 days), bodyweight (+3.9 per cent) and gut development (+9.3 per cent) were higher when the diet was offered as a mixture compared with a complete pelleted diet.

The birds fed the complete pelleted diets had a larger crop (+10.1 per cent) than others.

The cereal and the presentation of the diet had no effect on the body traits at the end of the force feeding, concluded Arroyo and co-authors. They added that the results suggest the use of sorghum whole seeds is interesting for feeding geese.


Arroyo J., A. Auvergne, J.P. Dubois, F. Lavigne, M. Bijja, C. Bannelier and L. Fortun-Lamothe. 2012. Effects of presentation and type of cereals (corn or sorghum) on performance of geese. Poult. Sci., 91(8):2063-2071. doi: 10.3382/ps.2011-01994

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