The quest for sustainability in livestock farming has led to innovative approaches in feed development. The latest research from the University of Turin delves into the impact of alternative dietary proteins on autochthonous slow-growing chicken breeds, specifically focusing on the Bianca di Saluzzo breed.
Ninety-six birds from the Bianca di Saluzzo breed were part of this study, examining the effects of two different dietary treatments. One group received a conventional standard diet, while the other was fed an experimental soybean meal-free diet. The study aimed to assess growth performance, blood traits, slaughtering outcomes, meat quality, and identify the optimal slaughtering age.
Surprisingly, there were no discernible differences in growth performance, slaughtering metrics, or blood traits between the two diets. The study identified 147 days as the optimal slaughtering age, showcasing the lowest feed conversion ratio compared to the 174-day period.
Intriguingly, a life cycle assessment revealed that the soybean meal-free diet significantly lowered environmental impact across various parameters, including CO2 impact on human health, ecosystems, and resources.
This research not only identifies the most suitable slaughtering age for the Bianca di Saluzzo breed but also emphasizes the potential of alternative dietary proteins in reducing the environmental footprint of chicken farming. The University of Turin continues to lead the way in sustainable agricultural practices, shaping the future of poultry farming.