R. Bras. Zootec.. 01/Jun/2016;45(6):288-94.
Inclusion of exogenous enzymes to feathers during processing on the digestible energy content of feather meal for adult dogs
This study was conducted to determine the coefficient of total tract apparent digestibility (CTTAD) of nutrients and gross energy (GE), metabolizable energy (ME), coefficient of metabolizability of gross energy (CM of GE), and fecal characteristics of dogs fed diets with two levels of feather meal, with or without addition of an enzyme blend containing lipase and protease activity. Ten adult Beagle dogs (aged between 1 and 2 years and weighing 10.2±1.4 kg) were arranged in a 5 × 3 incomplete Latin square design with five treatments and three periods. The extruded basal diet was provided in equal amounts to all dogs (220 g/d), and 7.5 and 15% of hydrolyzed feather meal without enzymes (HFM) or HFM processed with addition of the enzyme blend (HFM EB) was added on top of the basal diet just before feeding. The contrast analysis showed that inclusion of 7.5 or 15% feather meal negatively affected CTTAD of crude protein (CP), GE, and ME of the diets with no apparent effect of the enzyme treatment. However, when both feather meal samples were evaluated, the HFM EB resulted in better CTTAD of GE and CM of GE (0.774 vs. 0.666) than HFM without enzymes (0.670 vs. 0.567), respectively. There was no effect of either feather meal on fecal score. Regression analysis showed that the enzymes added to the feathers during the digestion process increased digestible energy by 600 kcal/kg of dry matter in the diet containing HFM EB. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis demonstrated that feather meal had a low molecular weight, with about 95% of the molecules below 10,000 Da. Addition of enzymes during the feather hydrolysis process may improve the energy content of the feather meal when included in diets for adult dogs.