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Cuban Journal of Agricultural Science

versión impresa ISSN 0864-0408versión On-line ISSN 2079-3480

Cuban J. Agric. Sci. vol.49 no.4 Mayabeque oct.-dic. 2015




Nutritional effect of the chemical silage of fish by-products in broiler (Gallus domesticuset al.) feeding


Efecto nutricional del ensilado químico de subproductos piscícolas en la alimentación de pollos de engorde (Gallus domesticuset al.)



Yeny Garcés,I C. Perea,I N. F. Valencia,II J. L. Hoyos,I J. A. Gómez,II

IUniversidad del Cauca, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Popayán, Colombia.
IIUniversidad Nacional de Colombia, Palmira, Colombia.




The present study was aimed at assessing the nutritional effect of including chemical silage of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mikiss) viscera (0, 10, 20 and 30 %) in broiler chick (Gallus domesticuset al.) diets. A completely randomized design was used and the productive and economical parameters were determined.  There were significant differences (P < 0.05) in feed consumption, live weight gain, feed conversion index, mortality, carcass yield, economic conversion index and economic profitability index.  The best results were obtained in diets including 10 and 20 % silage.  Results demonstrated that the chemical silage had a high nutritional value constituting a protein and alternative energy source for broiler feeding.

Key words: viscera, productive parameters, growth, alternative feeding.


El objetivo del presente estudio fue evaluar el efecto nutricional de la inclusión de ensilado químico de vísceras de Trucha arcoíris (Oncorhynchus mikiss) (0%, 10%, 20% y 30%) en dietas para de pollos de engorde (Gallus domesticuset al.). Mediante un diseño completamente al azar se determinaron parámetros productivos y económicos. Se presentaron diferencias significativas (P < 0.05) en el consumo de alimento, ganancia de peso, índice de conversión alimentaria, mortalidad, rendimiento en canal, índice de conversión económica y de rentabilidad económica. Se obtuvieron los mejores resultados en dietas con inclusión del 10 y 20 % de ensilado. Los resultados demostraron que el ensilado químico tuvo alto valor nutricional y constituye una fuente proteica y energética alternativa para la alimentación en pollos de engorde.

Palabras clave: vísceras, parámetros productivos, crecimiento, alimentación alternativa.




In Colombia, the poultry industry in the last year has achieved moving into a second place of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the agricultural sector of the country. This is due to the business growth and to the high demand of poultry products among which chicken meat outstands (Jaimes et al. 2010). In broiler production, nutrition is an important factor since poultry feeding is subjected to the high input cost and to the transfer of raw materials for the elaboration of new products. This originates the increase of feed prices and for that reason alternative raw matters are searched for that can contribute protein and energy with better feed efficiency at lower cost.  In this way the raw matter dependence with extremely high prices decreases (FAO 2012).

The by-products of the fish industry turned into silage through a chemical fermentation generate suitable characteristics for animal nutrition.  It allows recycling wastes and decreases the negative impact to the environment (Gallego 2006).  Silages are an important source of protein, fatty acids and high quality energy and can attain substituting partially or totally the utilization of conventional raw matters for the preparation of poultry diets.  In addition, its low cost permits obtaining greater efficiency and profitability in the activity (Solano 2005).

Nonetheless, prior to recommending silages in animal feeding, trials must be carried out for assessing, in biological terms, the effects of its inclusion. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the nutritional effect of the chemical silage of trout viscera in chick broiler feeding as a better quality alternative and lower cost.



This study was developed at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Cauca, Colombia at a height of 1780 masl, a mean temperature of 19ºC, 80 % of relative humidity and an annual rainfall of 1800 mm.  For the preparation of the chemical silage, viscera of rainbow trout were used.  Formic acid (2.5 %) was added and later mixed.  The product was stored for 12 d in 60 kg capacity plastic containers where stability was attained (Tunubalá and Hurtado 2013).

For evaluating the nutritional effect of the chemical silage (CS) in broiler feeding, productive parameters were determined such as: feed consumption (FC) weight gain (WG), feed conversion index (FCI), mortality (AM), carcass yield (CY), economic conversion index (ECI) and economic profitability index (EPI) (Gómez et al. 2014 and Gómez 2006). One hundred twenty eight one day old chick broilers (females) of the Cobb 500 line were used with an average weight of 42.8 ± 3.4 g. Chicks were distributed in 16 cages in a completely randomized design with four treatments and four replications.  Each replicate (cage with 8 birds) was taken as the experimental unit.  Treatments evaluated were: CT – control (0 % CS), T1 (10 % CS), T2 (20 % CS) and T3 (30 % CS).  The nutritional composition of the evaluated treatments is shown in table 1.

Broilers were evaluated for a period of 42 d. FC and AM were registered daily, WG every 8 d.  The FCI, the same as the CY, ECI and EPI were established at the end of the experiment.  Every one of the variables determined was analyzed by the application of an analysis of variance by repeated measurements (P < 0.05). Duncan’s test was used for mean comparison (α < 0.05).  The statistical program employed was SAS (Statistical Analysis System), version 9.4.



The analysis of variance allowed observing that treatments evaluated showed significant differences (P < 0.05) for FC, WG. FCI, AM, ECI and EPI. From Duncan’s test various groups per variable (table 2) were obtained.

Economic profitability index. Results indicated that broilers showed acceptability to the diets with CS inclusion (table 2).  There were no undernourishment symptoms or anomalies.  In addition, all treatments manifested weight gain in broilers.  As a higher CS percentage was included in the diets, fat deposition increased but feed consumption decreased.  This was due to the increase in the energy that permitted covering the energetic requirements with less feed intake (Pérez et al. 1974).  This confirms that the extra fat addition promotes growth and improves feed utilization by the animal.

Gómez et al. (1974) studied the inclusion of red Oreochromis spp. viscera silage in broiler feed during the starter stage. These authors found that the inclusion of fish silage did not affect significantly feed palatability. On the contrary, Al-Marzooqi et al. (2010) on studying the effect of sardine silage on broiler feeding reported that by including between 10 and 20 % FC increased.  Therefore, up to 20 % soybean meal could be replaced without affecting poultry yield.  Possibly, this effect is due to the fact that the protein of the sardine silage has better quality and amino acid contents that soybean meal.  According to Betancourt et al. (2006)  evaluating the trout viscera silage on the productive performance of broilers (weight at 21 d), found preferences for the feed when included 20 % fish silage.  Perhaps this effect could be produced by higher diet palatability.

For WG, on including 10 % CS in the diets, there was better weight gain but decreasing it when the inclusion percentage increased (table 2).  Kjos et al. (2000) remarked that on increasing silage inclusion in broiler diets fat deposition increases which negatively affects growth.  A similar performance was shown in this study, where diets with higher silage inclusion percentage had lower weight gain.

Gómez et al. (2014) reported weight gain decrease as silage was included, indicating that although fish silage is a raw matter with high amino acid contents and adequate available amino acid profile for the utilization by the animal with less energy expense, this was not reflected in the WG of broilers. Sotto et al. (2024) studied the inclusion (0, 10, 20 and 30 %) of a mixture with biological fish silage in quail diets during the growth-fattening stage.  These authors did not find significant differences between the treatments evaluated.  Quails gain more weight with the inclusion of 10 % of the mixture.

Similar results obtained Al-Marzooqi et al. (2010), who found that chickens that had more final weight and higher daily weight gain were those consuming 10 and 20 % inclusion of fish silage, while animals consuming 0 and 30 % inclusion attained lower daily weight gains.  Betancourt et al. (2006) evaluating the effect of trout viscera silage (0, 10 and 20 %) on the productive performance of broilers found higher weight at slaughtering by including 20 % trout viscera ensilage in broilers.

In this respect, better FCI in the treatments with CS inclusion were attained showing treatment T1 the best value (table 2).  Kjos et al. (2000) found better FCI values in the diets with the inclusion of fish silage which suggests that fish silage is a good protein source for broilers and that can substitute protein sources as fish meal.  Gómez et al. (2014) reported similar FCI in the diets including Oreochromis spp.. (1.85, 1.85 and 1.9) for inclusions of 10, 20 and 30 %, respectively, although there were no significant differences between treatments.  Ramírez et al. (2013) on evaluating the effect of the biological fish silage on yield and quality characteristics of quail meat (Coturnix coturnix japonica) referred that fish silage including in quail diets did not affect significantly the FCI.  Although there were no statistical differences, it could be observed that treatments T1 (79.1 %) and T2 (78.2 %) showed higher percentage of CY (table 2).  According to COBB (2012) and Abdullah et al. (2010) carcass yield is influenced by various factors.  The most relevant are weight, age, nutrition and sex of the chickens. That is to say that at higher animal live weight, at higher age and at higher protein level in the diet of female chickens, higher carcass yield will be obtained.

Similar results were obtained by Ramírez et al. (2013) who reported that the inclusion (0, 10, 20 and 30 %) of an ensiled mixture of fish-soybean meal for quails did not affect carcass yield. These authors concluded that carcass yield is not negatively affected by the addition of fish silage in the diets. On the contrary, Sotto et al. (2014) on evaluating diets that contained a mixture of fish silage found that the inclusion of up to 20 % of the mixture did not affect carcass yields of birds.

AM occurred in the study was not attributable to the effects of the silage in the feed, since the highest value was observed in the CT.  Together with the above mentioned, the treatment with higher CS inclusion (T4) had no mortality. General AM was of 14.06 %, that caused by the ascitic syndrome was 7.81 % and the rest by other death causes as crushing (6.25 %).  Hammoumi et al. (1998) in a trial for characterizing fermented fish wastes (fish silage) in broiler feeding with the inclusion of 0, 25 and 50 % in the diets, reported that there was no mortality or abnormal symptoms in any of the treatments.

The ECI is the cost of the concentrate required for producing one kilogram of poultry meat.  To higher CS inclusion (10, 20 and 30 %), lower is the ECI ($1328.3, $1312.5 and $1203.9, respectively). According to Moñino (2002) on including CS in broiler diets the economic expense decreases per kilogram of feed regarding the diets prepared with conventional raw matters.

In the EPI it was observed that on including 10 and 20 % CS there is higher profitability ($6304.7 and $5706.2, respectively). Al-Marzooqi et al. (2010) studied that effect on the feeding of different silage levels on broiler yield, indicating that it is economically profitable including up to 20 % fish silage in the diet in replacement of soybean meal. Gómez et al. (2014) evaluated silage inclusion and found that diets with 10, 20 and 30 % were less expensive up to 20 % regarding the control diet.

Treatments with the inclusion of 10  (T1) and 20 % (T2) of CS showed higher yield mainly in indicators such as WG, FCI and CY.  This is due to the inclusion of silage in the diets.

With the inclusion of CS in broiler diets, cost decreases and economic profitability of the feed improves which makes the silage of trout viscera a raw matter of great potential for the nutrition of broilers.



We are indebted to the University of Cauca, research group ASUBAAGROIN, to the National University of Colombia, Palmira Headquarters, Animal Nutrition Laboratory and to the General Royalty System and APROPESCA.



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Received: November 25, 2015
Accepted: January 14 , 2016



Yeny Garcés, Universidad del Cauca, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Popayán, Colombia. Email:

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