Background and Objective: Fish meal is an expensive protein source in livestock feed. The present study investigated the effects of suckermouth armored catfish (Pterygoplichthys pardalis) as a replacement for fish meal in Thai native chicken diets. Materials and Methods: Two hundred Thai-native crossbred male and female “Pradu Hang Dam” chickens (21 day-old) were divided into 5 groups of 40 birds each. The birds were fed a basal diet with 0% (control), 25, 50, 75%, or 100% of the fish meal replaced with suckermouth armored catfish meal (SM). General production performance parameters and carcass characteristics were measured. Results: Average daily feed intake was not significantly different between any of the groups. However, average daily gain and feed conversion ratio in birds fed 25% SM were higher than the other groups (p<0.01). The carcass weight before being chilled or after being heated was not significantly different between any of the groups. In addition, the carcass weight after refrigeration for 12 h was not significantly different between any of the groups. The wing, breast, thigh and drumstick weights in all SM replacement groups when calculated to percent of chill weight were higher than the 0% SM group (p<0.05). The percentage of meat loss was not different, except for drip loss percentage of breast in the 50% SM group, which was higher than the other groups (p<0.05). The color b* level of breasts in the 25-100% SM groups were higher than the control group (p<0.05) and the L* level of thighs in the 25%SM group was also higher than that of the other groups (p<0.05). Conclusion: Replacing 25-50% of fish meal with SM in Thai native chicken diets had a positive effect on growth performance and some meat characteristics and represents a viable alternative dietary protein source.
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