The goal of this research was to evaluate the nutritive value of full-fat de-hulled sunflower seeds (DHSS) in feeding broiler chickens. Three experiments were conducted. Experiment 1 determined the proximal analysis of DHSS, the essential amino acid content, and apparent metabolizable energy (AME). In experiment 2, two diets were formulated, namely a control and a diet containing 10% DHSS. Apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), and ether extract (EE) were calculated. In experiment 3, the performances of broilers fed the two diets were evaluated in terms of the relative weights of digestive system organs, breast meat colour, growth and feed consumption. Full-fat de-hulled sunflower seeds were characterized as having 507.9 g/kg EE, 282.1 g/kg CP, 21.02 MJ/kg AME and 9.3 g/16 g N arginine. Apparent ileal digestibility of DM in the 10% DHSS diet was 658.0 g/kg, similar to that of the control diet (643.0 g/kg). Partial substitution of DHSS for soybean meal (SBM) did not affect the relative weight of digestive system organs, except for the liver. The relative weights of the liver were 17.90 g/kg bodyweight in birds fed the DHSS diet and 16.37 g/kg bodyweight (P <0.05) in the control. The colour of the breast meat was 3.5% darker and 13.8% less yellow for DHSS birds compared with the control. Growth and feed consumption were unaffected by the dietary treatments. Therefore, 10% DHSS can partially replace SBM in broiler finisher diets.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher