Background and Objective: Enogen® Feed corn, a high-amylase corn variety, has shown to improve average daily gain and feed efficiency compared to conventional corn when fed to finishing swine and cattle. This effect has not been evaluated in poultry. Further, high amylase activity in Enogen® Feed corn may influence the pelleting process, specifically starch gelatinization. This experiment evaluated the effects of corn type and conditioner retention time on pelleting characteristics and broiler growth and carcass traits. Materials and Methods: Twelve hundred male broiler chicks (Cobb-Vantress, Siloam Springs, AR) were used in a 45-day experiment with a 2×2 factorial treatment structure of corn source [conventional (CON) and Enogen® Feed corn (EFC; Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc.)] and conditioner retention time (30 or 80 sec). Conventional corn was replaced by EFC on a kg:kg basis. Pelleting and starch characteristics of the diets were collected and analyzed. Chicks were randomly allocated to groups of 15 and assigned to 1 of 80 floor pens. Chicks received experimental treatments beginning on day 5 of age. A starter diet was fed from day 0-10 of the study, a grower diet from day 11-24 and a finisher diet from day 25-45 of the experiment. Pen weights and feed consumption were measured on day 11, 25, 39 and 45 for calculation of body weight gain, feed intake and feed efficiency. Half of the chicks from each treatment were harvested on day 39 and the remaining half were harvested on day 45 for determination of carcass weight and dressing percentage. Results: Pelleting of EFC resulted in greater starch solubility in cooled pellets compared to pelleted CON diets. Broiler performance was not affected by conditioner retention time. Broilers fed EFC consumed more feed, had heavier body weights and heavier carcasses than broilers fed CON; however, there was no difference in carcass feed efficiency among treatments. Conclusion: Replacing CON with EFC in poultry diets appears to enhance starch gelatinization during pelleting but did not affect feed efficiency in broilers.
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