2014 Volume 51 Issue 1 Pages 47-51
Rice grain for feed has been used for chicken feed as a substitute for corn, since the nutritive values of corn and rice are similar. However, it is unclear whether rice grain for feed should be available for young chicks from the early stages of ages. It was reported that the preference for unpolished rice was low, but no information was available for paddy rice (PR) which is low in digestibility. In the present study, therefore, preference for PR and the passage of feed through the gastrointestinal tract were investigated. In order to improve this preference, the effect of mixing PR with a practical diet was compared with early learning for adapting to PR. In addition, it was confirmed that the passage rate of PR is improved by the addition of grit, an enzyme or lysine. As a result, replacing 60% of a practical diet with PR was found to significantly increase intake of feed in comparison with the practical diet alone. The preference for PR was very clear irrespective of whether early learning for adapting to PR occurred just after hatching or not. The addition of an enzyme improved the passage of feed through the whole gastrointestinal tract, although the addition of grit and lysine did not affect it. On the other hand, the passage of feed from the crop was not improved by any treatments. In conclusion, mixing PR and the practical diet improved feed intake and the passage of feed through the gastrointestinal tract was improved by adding enzymes in young chicks.