In countries where hemp is grown, the seeds are used for cattle and poultry as a concentrated energy feed. However, the very low digestibility of the fibre component of the oil cake limits its use, especially in pig and poultry feeds (Göhl, 1982).
No pathological side effects have been reported for the by-products of industrial hemp...
It is an excellent natural source of rumen-undegradable protein that is equivalent to heat-treated rapeseed meal.
Hemp seeds have a high energy content, and due their low cost, are a traditional staple of mixes for pet birds.
Up to 20% dried and crushed hemp seeds have been used successfully in broiler diets and resulted in higher breast, leg and thigh weight.
This positive effect has been linked to the combination of a good protein and lipid quality associated to other beneficial properties, such as the lack of trypsin inhibitors and the antioxydant activity of cannabidiol (Khan et al., 2009).
It is possible to partly replace soybean meal by hemp seed meal in broiler diets. Supplementation of hemp seed meal at 1.5-9.0% had no adverse effects on immunological factors. Levels of 1.5-3% might promote B cell differentiation and maturation as well as immunity. Levels of 4.5-7.0% enhanced nitrogen utilization (Ma Li et al., 2007).
With hens fed on 0 to 20% of cold-pressed hemp seed meal, no significant differences were found between feed treatments for egg production, feed consumption, feed efficiency, body weight change or egg quality.
Feeding rabbits with hemp oil cake is possible but it has a moderate energy value for rabbits, due to its high fibre content that reduces diet digestibility. It does not have significant organoleptic effects on fresh rabbit meat (Lebas et al., 1988).
Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:30
Khan, R. U. ; Fazil-e-Raziq Durrani; Niela Chand; Haseeb Anwar; Shabana Naz; Farooqi, F. A. ; Manzoor, M. N., 2009. Effect of Cannabis sativa fortified feed on muscle growth and visceral organs in broiler chicks. Int. J. Biol. Biotech., 6 (3): 179-182
Lebas, F. ; Ouhayoun, J. ; Delmas, D., 1988. Effects of hempseed oil cake introduction in rabbit feeding on growth performance and carcass quality. Proceeding of the 4th World Rabbit Congress, Budapest, Hungary, 3, pp. 254–259
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English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)