The interest for feeding whole grains to broilers remains strong, especially as cereal prices remain high, and skipping grinding cost is considered a viable way of reducing production cost. In addition, feeding whole grain has been reported to confer positive effects on digestive function and health, especially in preventing the enlargement of proventriculus and atrophy of gizzard with pelleted diets.
There is also a growing consumer demand for natural feeding of animals, which can be answered partly by feeding whole grains.
Nevertheless, as indicated in a recent study, published data on the effects of whole grain feeding on growth performance of broilers are contradictory, whereas most data pertain to whole wheat feeding. This review is an answer to the need for a comprehensive review on whole grain feeding, where aspects of growth performance, digestive tract development, intestinal microflora and nutrient utilization are reviewed, along with the major confounding factors responsible for variable trial outcomes.