Effects of Irradiated Flaxseed on Performance, Carcass Characteristics, Blood Parameters, and Nutrient Digestibility in Broiler Chickens

Document Type: Original Paper


1 Department of Animal Science, College of Animal Science and Fisheries, Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Sari, Iran

2 Nuclear Science & Technology Research Institute, Karaj, Iran

3 Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of feeding electron irradiated flaxseed (FS) on performance, carcass characteristics, blood parameters, digesta viscosity, and nutrient digestibility in broiler chickens. In a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement, 320 day-old broiler chicks were randomly assigned to one of five experimental diets, each with four replicates containing 16 chicks each. Dietary treatments included a corn-soybean meal-based diet (control), and diets containing 10% or 20% raw flaxseed (FS10, FS20), or 10% or 20% flaxseed irradiated at 20 kGy (RFS10, RFS20). Feeding irradiated flaxseed improved body weight gain in grower and finisher periods of the experiment (P < 0.05).  Birds fed FS20 had a lower (P < 0.05) body weight gain in finisher period as well as lower breast muscle percentage in comparison to chicks fed FS10. Thigh percentage was greater in chicks fed FS20 compared to chicks fed FS10 (P < 0.05). Liver percentage decreased (P < 0.05) in birds fed RFS20 compared other treatments. Birds fed FS20 and RFS20 had significantly lower aspartate aminotransferase activity compared to birds fed FS10 and RFS10 (P < 0.05). Dry matter, organic matter, and ether extract digestibility decreased (P < 0.05) as the levels of FS increased. Apparent digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, and ether extract in irradiated FS increased in birds fed raw flaxseed. Irradiation of flaxseed significantly decreased digesta viscosity compared to diets containing raw irradiated flaxseed (P < 0.05). Results of this study demonstrated that irradiation increases the inclusion level of flaxseed in broiler diets without any negative impacts on broiler performance.


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