Performance and Essential Fatty Acids Content of Dark Meat as Affected by Supplementing the Broiler Diet with Different Levels of Flaxseeds
Annual Research & Review in Biology,
In recent years attention was focused on the relationship between, increased human consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids such as, C20:5 (EPA), C22:6 (DHA) & C22:5 (DPA) and lowered incidence of human coronary heart disease. These fatty acids are mainly present in fish products which could result in fishy flavor in eggs of birds, fed such ingredients. Flaxseeds were found to be a good source for linolenic acid, an important poly-unsaturated fatty acid which is a precursor for the omega 3 fatty acids. This experiment was conducted to study the effect of feeding different levels of flaxseeds on performance and essential fatty acids content of broiler dark meat. Five levels of roasted or unroasted flaxseeds: 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20% dry weight were fed to 400 broiler chickens in 4 replicates (10 birds/battery pen). Feed was given ad-libitum. Results of this experiment showed a relatively higher consumption of feed, lower body weight, higher feed conversion when flax seed level in the diet was increased beyond 5%. However, feeding 15 % flaxseed increased the omega3 fatty acid (linolenic acid, DHA, EPA and DPA) sharply in the fat of dark meat (thigh) which make this meat healthier to human. It is suggested that roasting can improve the quality of flax seeds and these seeds can be incorporated in the broiler diet if the producer is willing to sacrifice some performance. In turn he will get a premium price for his products.