Low ANF faba beans for chicken feed

The University of Adelaide

  • Project code: PRJ-006194

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Thursday, July 28, 2011

  • Project completion date: Monday, October 1, 2012

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 3-Contributing to efficient and secure chicken production systems


The Australian faba bean industry is highly concentrated with major regions of production in the south eastern region (South Australia and Victoria) and northern NSW. These regions correspond with major areas of production of broiler chicken in Australia, thus there is the opportunity for faba beans to provide a significant source of locally produced, plant derived protein in broiler diets. Factors that have restricted the inclusion of faba beans in broiler diets have included irregular supply, and the presence of anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) in faba beans. It is anticipated that the supply of faba beans will increase as new varieties are released in the near future. Lines with low levels of ANFs have been identified, and in feeding trials in Europe have been demonstrated to have a positive effect on efficiency of feed conversion with increased apparent metabolisable energy, increase protein metabolism and increased growth rates compared to lines with high ANFs. This project will confirm the results of the feeding studies under Australian conditions and initiate a breeding strategy to introduce the genes controlling the low ANF traits to elite Australian faba bean lines for future development of varieties suited to feed for broiler chickens.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

The University of Adelaide

Objective Summary

The objective of the project is to determine whether results of feeding trials comparing zero and high tannin faba beans, conducted internationally, are relevant to Australian faba bean production and poultry feeding conditions. Two related lines that contrast in content of tannins in the seed coat (a conventional line containing a high level of condensed tannins and a “zero tannin” line) will be included at several rates (0 – 30%)in the diet of chickens and their performance will be measured. The outcome of this test will establish whether, under Australian conditions, the elimination of condensed tannins in faba bean seed coats by genetic means results in the same increase in AME, protein metabolism and weight gain as reported internationally. A positive outcome, together with appropriate economic modelling, would indicate whether adopting a specific breeding goal of developing low tannin faba beans for the chicken feed is warranted.