Poultry Husbandry Florida Agricultural
Mimeograph Report No. 60-2 Experiment Station
THE USE CF RYE IN BROILER DIETS1
P. W. WALDROUP, J. M. VANDEPOPULIERE AND R. H. HARMS2
Considerable rye is grown in Florida to produce forage for cattle grazing.
In some instances, it is possible to harvest grain from this crop after it is no
longer suitable for grazing. This grain is not considered to be a satisfactory
ingredient for use in poultry feeds because it is thought to be less palatable than
other grains and also tends to cause sticky droppings when fed at high levels
Cereal grains are used in poultry feeds primarily to furnish energy. Rye
contains 785 Calories of productive energy per pound as compared to 1105 Calories
per pound for corn. With the present trend toward high energy feeds for poultry,
the tendency has been to use grains having higher energy values, thus very little
rye is included in modern poultry feeds.
The experiments reported herein have been conducted to determine if rye could
be satisfactorily used in high energy broiler diets when sufficient animal fat was
added to compensate for energy differences in corn and rye.
In the first experiment, a diet containing 15 percent ground rye with 2.35%
additional animal fat was compared to a basal diet contain c as the
only cereal grain. In the second experiment, levels of I and 45 peroet ground
rye were used in the mixed feed to determine the amount 4 e that could used
SThe authors are indebted to H. W. Lundy, Associate Agron 3t C a Swannee
Valley Station, Live Oak, Florida, for making available theed in
2 P. W. Waldroup and J. M. Vandepopuliere are graduate students in Poultry Husbandry
and Animal Husbandry and Nutrition, respectively. R. H. Harms is Associate Poultry
3 Card, L. E., 1952. Poultry Production. Lea and Fibiger, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
when sufficient animal fat was added to compensate for the change in the energy
content of the diet. The Gator variety of rye was used in each of these experiments.
This variety was selected as it appears to be the variety most commonly grown in
Composition of these diets is shown in Table 1. The protein and energy content
was held constant in all experimental diets by varying the amount of animal fat, corn
and soybean used. Productive energy and protein content of the various diets were
calculated, using values according to Titus (1955).4
In experiment 1, each experimental diet was fed to four replicate pens of
eight male and eight female broiler-type chicks per pen; while in experiment 2, each
diet was fed to three replicate pens of five male and five female broiler-type chicks
The chicks were randomly assigned to pens, wing-banded and placed on the
experimental diets at one day of age. They were kept in electrically heated battery
brooders with raised wire floors. Feed and water were supplied ad libitum.
All birds were individually weighed at four weeks of age, at which time feed
per unti weight was calculated.
All statements of probability in this report are based on the analysis of
variance according to Snedecor (1956)5 with significant treatment differences
determined by Duncan's Multiple Range Test (1955).6
Results and Discussion
Four-week average weights and feed efficiencies are given in Table 2. Growth
rate of chicks was depressed when they were fed diets containing rye. In either
experiment a significant depression of growth was not obtained from feeding diets
containing 15 percent rye. However, when diets containing levels of 30 or 45 per-
4 Titus, H. W., 1955. The Scientific Feeding of Chickens. The Interstate Printers
and Publishers, Inc., Danville, Illinois.
SSnedecor, G. W., 1956. Statistical Methods. Iowa State College Press, Ames, Iowa.
6 Duncan, D. R., 19955 Multiple range and multiple F tests. Biometrics, 11:1-42.
TABLE 1: Composition of Diets
Experiment 1 Experiment 2
Ingredient -1 2 1 2 3 4
(Ibs./100 lbs. diet) (Ibs./l0o lbs. diet)
Yellow Corn 52.95 37.L ---
White Corn ----- -- 58.02 43.71 27.45 ll1Ol
Soybean Meal (50%) 35.45 34.50 32.36 30.75 29.75 29.00
Animal Fat 4.40 6.35 2.06 3.60 5.90 8.10
Ground Rye 1500 -- 15.00 30 00 45.00
Alfalfa Meal 3,00 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00
Ground Limestone 0.30 0.40 0.87 0.42 0.60 0.76
DeFluorinated Phosphate 2.60 2.00 2.39 2.22 2.00 1.83
Salt, Iodized 0.40 0.40 0.40 0.L0 040 0.40
Micro-ingredients1 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90
HA2 .068 .068 .068 .068 .068 .068
Supplies per pound of feed: 2268 I.U. vitamin A, 10 mcg. vitamin B -, 340 I.C.U. vitamin D,, 2 mg. ribo-
flavin, 9 mg. calcium pantothenate, 18 mg. niacin, 261 mg. choline thloride, 10 mg. terramy in, 2 mg.
oleandomycin, 57 mg. santoquin, 9 mg. iron, 0.9 mg. copper, 90 mcg. cobalt, 5 mg. iodine, 45 mcg. zinc,
80 mg. manganese sulphate, and 35 mg. manganous oxide.
Registered trademark for Monsanto Chemical Company, for methionine hydroxy-analogue calcium.
cent rye were fed, a significant depression in growth was observed (Table 2,
Experiment 2). As the level of rye was increased, growth rate of chicks was
decreased. This would indicate that the small depression of growth obtained from
feeding diets containing 15 percent rye may be a real depression, although this
difference did not reach a level of statistical significance.
The use of rye in the diets employed in these experiments did not signifi-
cantly affect feed utilization (Table 2). This would indicate that the animal fat
added to the diets containing rye tended to offset the nutritional differences
between corn and rye. This does not mean that rye and fat can replace corn on a
calorie replacement basis, because growth rate was not as good when diets were fed
Chicks receiving diets containing thirty or forty-five percent rye were
observed to have a high incidence of "pasting up" around the vent, during the first
few days of feeding. This did not appear to harm the chicks. Droppings from the
chicks receiving the diet containing forty-five percent rye had a tendency to stick
to the wire floor of the battery. Although the droppings stuck to the floor, they
did not stick to the feet of the chicks, as reported by earlier workers (Card, 1952)
who studied the use of rye for feeding chicks.
TABLE 2: Body Weight and Feed Efficiency
of Four-Week Old Broiler-Type
Chicks When Fed Varying Levels
of Ground Rye
% Rye in Body Weight (gms.) Feed/Gm.
Diet M1 F Av.' Broiler
00 528 462 495 1.46
15 525 430 478 1.49
00 509 431 470a 1.5kd
15 465 426 W446ab 1.52d
30 463 407 435b,c 1.75
45 437 387 412C 1.59d
Means having diftfeioiet exponential letters are significantly
different according to Duncan's Multiple Range Test (1955).o
Summary and Conclusion
The over-all health of the chicks did not seem to be impaired by the feeding
of the rye. Therefore, it may be concluded that these data indicate that day-old
chicks may be fed diets containing up to forty-five percent of the rye; however,
levels of fifteen percent or greater will result in depressing growth.
Feeds for replacement pullets would be the most logical place to utilize
rye since most poultrymen desire a growing feed with a much lower energy content
than is commonly used for chicks, broilers or laying hens.
It would appear that unless the production of rye is greatly expanded, the
amount that is available in Florida for use in feed could be utilized in pullet