Although soybean meal (SBM) is excellent source of protein in diets for poultry, it is sometimes inaccessible, costly and fluctuates in supply. The SBM can partially be replaced by full-fat SBM, but the meals prepared from raw full-fat soybean contain antinutritional factors. To avoid the risk of antinutritional factors, heat treatment is always advisable, but either excessive or under heating the soybean could negatively affect the quality. However, the potential for further improvement of SBM by supplementing with microbial enzymes has been suggested by many researchers. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance and ileal nutrient digestibility of birds fed on diets containing raw soybeans and supplemented with microbial protease.
A 3 × 2 factorial, involving 3 levels of raw full-fat soybean (RFFS; 0, 45 or 75 g/kg of diet) and 2 levels of protease (0 or 15,000 PROT/kg) was used. The birds were raised in a climate-controlled room. A nitrogen-free diet was also offered to a reference group from day 19 to 24 to determine protein and amino acid flow at the terminal ileum and calculate the standardized ileal digestibility of nutrients. On days 10, 24 and 35, body weight and feed leftover were recorded to calculate the body weight gain (BWG), feed intake (FI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR). On day 24, samples of ileal digesta were collected at least from two birds per replicate.
When RFFS was increased from 0 to 75 g/kg of diet, the content of trypsin inhibitors was increased from 1747 to 10,193 trypsin inhibitors unit (TIU)/g of diets, and feed consumption of birds was also reduced (P < 0.05). Increasing RFFS level reduced the BWG from hatch 0 to 10 d (P < 0.01) and hatch to 24 d (P < 0.05). The BWG of birds from hatch to 35 was not significantly (P = 0.07) affected. Feed intake was also reduced (P < 0.05) during 0 to 35 d. However, protease supplementation improved (P < 0.05) the BWG and FCR during 0 to 24 d. Rising levels of RFFS increased the weight of pancreas (P < 0.001) and small intestine (P < 0.001) at day 24. Except for methionine, apparent and the corresponding standardized ileal digestibility of CP and AA were reduced (P < 0.01) by increasing levels of RFFS in diets.
This study showed that some commercial SBM could be replaced by RFFS in broiler diets, without markedly compromising productivity. The AID and SID of CP and lysine were slightly improved by dietary supplementation of microbial protease.