Pasta factories often have a surplus of refusal material that are only too eager to dispose of. The feasibility of feeding them to broilers has been a question recently answered in a two-trial project.
In the first trial, the apparent metabolizable energy of pasta refusals against that of wheat was determined to be 12.6 versus 15.5 MJ/kg. The value for pasta was actually higher than that attributed to maize at 14.1 MJ/kg. Indeed, pasta is made predominately from wheat flour, which contains very little if any of the fibrous matter in wheat. As such, the energy content of mostly wheat flour was expected to be superior to that of whole cereals.
In the second trial, pasta replaced wheat at 20, 40, and 60 percent of the diet. In addition, a xylanase-based enzyme product was used in combination with the above levels of wheat and pasta. Results indicated that feeding up to 40 percent pasta refusals in broilers does not harm growth performance, and, in fact, adding a dose of xylanase appeared to support maximal performance.
Thus, with proper formulation and careful balancing of diets for all nutrients, pasta refusals of known origin and composition can be used at relatively high inclusion levels in diets for broilers.