Master of Science (MS)
School of Animal Science
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate sugarcane biochar as a feed ingredient in commercial broiler diets. Experiment 1 was conducted for 11 days using 300 male Ross 708 broilers. Broilers were allotted to one of five treatment diets containing 0%, 0.5%, 1.0%, 2%, or 4% biochar. Experiment 2 was conducted for 19 days using 450 male Ross 708 broilers. Chicks were allotted to one of 9 treatment diets containing 0%, 0.25%, 0.5%, 0.75%, 1%, 1.25%, 1.5%, 1.75% or 2% biochar. Broilers and feed were weighed at day 0 and 10 in experiment 1 and day 0, 10 and 18 in experiment 2 to determine average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed efficiency (Gain:Feed). The left tibia was collected from each broiler on day 10 (experiment 1) or day 18 (experiment 2) and used to determine bone breaking strength (BBS). Fecal samples were collected on day 10 (experiment 1) or day 10 and 18 (experiment 2) to determine dry matter (DM), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) content. For experiments 1 and 2 treatment had no effect (P >0.05) on ADFI or BBS. Results from day 10 in experiment 1 and day 18 in experiment 2 did not show differences in fecal DM. Differences between treatments in fecal DM content were noted on day 10 of experiment 2. Experiment 1 determined broilers fed 4% biochar had lower (P<0.01) Gain:Feed than broilers fed other diets. No differences were noted in Gain:Feed in experiment 2 for birds fed biochar up to 2%. In experiment 2 birds fed 0.25% or 0.75% biochar on day 10 and 0.25% - 1.25% biochar on day 18 had increased fecal P. Further testing is required to determine the exact effects of feeding biochar on broiler fecal P.
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Cheron, Brandon Michael, "Evaluation of Biochar as a Feed Additive in Commercial Broiler Diets" (2017). LSU Master's Theses. 4469.