Effects of corn particle size on growth performance and nutrient utilization in young chicks

C. M. Jacobs, P. L. Utterback, C. M. Parsons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of corn particle size on rowth performance, MEn, apparent total tract amino acid digestibility, and cecal microbial populations when young chicks were fed a corn-soybean meal-based diet. In all experiments, 1-d-old chicks were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 dietary treatments containing corn particle geometric mean diameters of 557, 858, 1,210, or 1,387 μm. Chicks were fed the experimental diets from 0 to 21 d posthatch and MEn and apparent total tract amino acid digestibility were determined at 7 and 21 d of age. When compared with the smallest geometric mean diameters of 557 μm, feeding the larger particle sizes had no effect on growth performance from 0 to 21 d in all experiments. Feeding larger corn particle sizes resulted in increases in relative gizzard weights in all experiments with the greatest increase occurring with the 1,387-μm corn particle size. Gizzard pH was unaffected by corn particle size in all experiments. The MEn values and digestibility coefficients for most amino acids were higher (P < 0.05) at 21 d than at 7 d for all dietary treatments. In experiment 2, the MEn values showed a significant linear decrease (P < 0.007) as corn particle size increased at 7 d. The digestibility of most amino acids was unaffected by corn particle size at 7 or 21 d. Cecal lactobacilli populations were increased (P < 0.05) when the largest particle size was included in the diet. The results of these studies indicated that feeding larger particle size corn increased gizzard weight significantly but had no consistent effect on overall growth performance, MEn, or amino acid digestibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-544
Number of pages6
JournalPoultry science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • Corn
  • Gizzard size
  • Nutrient digestibility
  • Particle size
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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