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Effect of the inclusion of discarded red bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) meal on performance and egg quality of laying hens

M A Paz y Miño, I F Suazo, R Castillo1, R Sanchez, F J Amaya and Y Martínez

Poultry Research and Teaching Center, Agricultural Science and Production Department, Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School, Valle de Yeguare, San Antonio de Oriente, Honduras
1 Agricultural Science and Production Department, Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School, Valle de Yeguare, San Antonio de Oriente, Honduras


The aim of this experiment was to evaluate the inclusion of discarded red bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) meal on performance and egg quality of laying hens. A total of 80 hens of the Hy-Line White® genetic line were randomly distributed for 10 weeks in two treatments, eight replicates per treatment and five birds per replicate. The dietary treatments consisted of a control diet (CTL) and the inclusion of 15% discarded red bean meal (RB). The proposed experimental group (15% discarded red bean meal) improved (P<0.05) laying intensity, egg weight and mass conversion, although it provoked a higher percentage of dirty eggs (P<0.05). Likewise, RB increased (P<0.05) the eggshell thickness, however it decreased (P<0.05) the egg yolk pigmentation. Also, feed intake, albumen height, Haugh unit and shell break strength did not change due to treatment effect (P>0.05). It is recommended, the inclusion of 15% discarded red bean meal to partially replace

Key word: alternative ingredient, economic benefit, final product, hens, productivity


Currently, the high price of the main raw materials to produce animal feed, due to inflation, speculation, their export to China, and the war in Ukraine, have caused low economic profitability for many poultry companies (mainly small and medium enterprises) (Williams et al. al 2022). The gap between local supply and demand for these traditional ingredients is expected to widen in the coming decades (Mallory 2021). Thus, the poultry industry is constantly seeking to find available and affordable alternative feeds that can partially or totally replace corn and soybean meal, without affecting performance and with a positive economic impact (Kleyn and Ciacciariello 2021).

In this sense, beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) constitute one of the most traditional crops in Central America, which is part of the basic grains of the region (Beaver et al 2022). According to CEPAL (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean 2013) most of its production is developed by small producers, being an essential food within the circular economy in the communities. Likewise, in the classification of beans as seed, the discarding them for different non-phytopathological reasons is common, however, their use in animal feed is little studied (Arija et al 2006).

Due to its chemical composition, discarded beans could be a viable alternative to lower production costs in poultry diets (Soysal 2021). Other experiments have used beans under different treatments (precooked and soaked) with inconclusive results (Carew and Gernat 2006 and Okonkwo et al 2021), likewise, the use of raw broad beans (without previous treatment) in poultry diets is not recommended, because theses seeds have secondary metabolites, which in excess can provoke symptoms related to antinutritional factors, such as trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitors (Lamz et al 2021).

The new bean varieties developed at the Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School have greater resistance to diseases and are more adapted to the production systems of the region (Durón and Amador 2022). Also, other previous studies found that apparently these genetic processes can modify the quantification of secondary metabolites, which allows the use of discarded beans without treatment and in a higher inclusion in the diet (Wenham 2021). Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the dietary inclusion of discarded red bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) meal on performance and egg quality of Hy-Line White® laying hens.

Materials and methods

Experimental location

This study was conducted at the Poultry Research and Teaching Center, Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School, located in Valle de Yegüare, municipality of San Antonio de Oriente, department of Francisco Morazán, 32 km from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The experimental unit has a height of 800 meters above sea level and an average temperature of 26 °C.

Chemical composition of the discarded red bean

The discarded Amadeus 77 red bean was purchased at the seed processing plant of the Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School. Then, dry matter, crude protein, ashes, N, Ca, Mg, K, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn were determined according to AOAC 2001.11. (2006) and the P available by the molybdenum blue colorimetric method. Table 1 shows the chemical composition of the discarded red bean.

Table 1. Chemical composition of the discarded red bean meal



Deviation (±)

Coefficient of
variation (%)

Dry matter (%)




Ashes (%)




Crude protein (%)




N (%)




Available P (%)




K (%)




Ca (%)




Mg (%)




Cu (mg/kg)




Fe (mg/kg)




Mn (mg/kg)




Zn (mg/kg)




Animals, experimental design, and treatments

A total of 80 35-week-old Hy-Line White® laying hens were allocated in a completely randomized design for 10 weeks, with two treatments, eight replicates per treatment, and five birds per replicate. The dietary treatments consisted of a control diet (CTL) and the inclusion of 15% discarded red bean meal (RB15). Table 2 shows the composition of the experimental diets.

Table 2. Experimental diets for Hy-line White laying hens (35-45 weeks)




Yellow corn meal






African palm oil



Discarded red bean meal






Exogenous enzymes2






Mycofix plus 5.0



Coarse calcium carbonate



Fine calcium carbonate



Monocalcium phosphate



Sodium bicarbonate



Common salt









Cost (USD/t)



Nutritional contributions

Metabolizable energy (kcal/kg)



Crude protein (%)






P available



Digestible lysine



Digestible methionine and cystine



Digestible threonine



1 Vitamin and mineral premix: vitamin A, 1000 IU/kg; vitamin D3, 2000 IU/kg; vitamin E, 30 IU/kg; vitamin K3, 2 mg/kg; vitamin B1, 1 mg/kg; vitamin B2, 6 mg/kg; vitamin B6, 3.5 mg/kg; vitamin B12, 18 mg/kg; niacin, 60 mg/kg; pantothenic acid, 10 mg/kg; biotin, 10mg/kg; folic acid, 0.75 mg/kg; choline, 250 mg/kg; iron, 50 mg/kg; copper, 10mg/kg; zinc, 70 mg/kg; manganese, 70mg/kg; selenium, 0.30 mg/kg; Iodine, 1 mg/kg.2 Lumis Lbzyme X50® multienzyme complex is composed of xylanase (25000 U/g), mannanase (250 IU/g), beta-glucanase (2500 IU/g), cellulase (400000 U/g), pectinase (80 IU/g), galactosidase (100 U/g), protease, (2500 Hut/g), amylase (60000 U/g) and phytases (15000 FTU/g)

Experimental conditions

The laying hens were housed in a 400 m2 commercial shed, in 61 × 36 cm cages, with ceiling fans and an artificial lighting system. Water ad-libitum in two nipple drinkers per cage was offered and feed intake to 110 g/day/bird in linear feeders was restricted. 16 hours of light each day was supplied, and no veterinary attention during the experimental stage was used. For the adaptation to the new diets, a pre-experimental phase of 14 days was provided.

Growth performance

To determine the laying intensity, the total production of eggs/week/treatment was considered; one egg/day/bird housed was assumed to be 100%. To determine egg weight, 30 eggs were collected weekly for each treatment, between 8:30 am and 9:30 am. The eggs were weighed on an OHAUS® digital technical scale (New Jersey, USA), with a precision of ± 0.1 g. The feed intake was determined three times per week according to the offer and rejection method. Also, dirty eggs daily were counted to determine their percentage considering egg production. Mass conversion (MC) was calculated from the formula:

External and internal egg quality

To determine the external and internal egg quality, 30 eggs for each experimental treatment (two eggs for each replicate) were collected weekly. For egg quality, each egg constitutes an experimental unit. All the eggs were collected at the same time and were transferred to the egg quality laboratory within the Research and Teaching Center of the Zamorano University. The external and internal quality of the eggs were analyzed on the same day of collection using an automatic TSS EggQuality analyzer (York, England) and Eggware v4x software. Egg weight was determined on an OHAUS® digital scale (New Jersey, USA) with an accuracy of ± 0.1 g. The eggshell breaking strength was analyzed at the mid pole using a QC shell and packing force analyzer. For the eggshell thickness (mid pole) a micrometer with an accuracy of ± 0.001 mm was used.

For internal egg quality, the albumen height was measured using a QHC® height indicator with an accuracy of ± 0.01 mm (automatic TSS EggQuality analyzer, York, England). The Haugh unit was calculated with the formula HU=100* log (H + 1.7W0.37 + 7.6); where HU is the Haugh unit, H is albumen height and W is egg weight. The yolk color was evaluated using a CCC® electronic colorimeter, which considers the Roche scale of 15 colors.

Statistical analysis

Descriptive statistic for the chemical composition of discarded red bean meal were performed. Data was analyzed by T Students test for two independent samples. Dirty eggs were determined by comparison of proportions. Values of P <0.05 were taken to indicate significant differences. The SPSS program (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used for statistical analyzes.


Table 3 shows the effect of including RB15 in the diet of Hy-Line White® laying hens. This treatment (15% discarded beans) improved (P<0.05) laying intensity, egg weight and mass conversion, although it increased (P<0.05) dirty eggs, without changes in feed intake (P>0.05).

Table 3. Effect of the inclusion of discarded red bean on performance of laying hens


Experimental treatments





Laying intensity (%)





Egg weight (g)





Feed intake (g/bird/day)





Mass conversion (kg/kg)





Dirty eggs (%)





Table 4 shows the external and internal egg quality when using 15% discarded red bean meal without physical or chemical treatment on laying hen diets. At weeks 40 and 45, the experimental group with discarded red bean meal increased (P<0.05) notably the eggshell thickness, (P<0.05). The other external and internal quality indicators of the egg did not change due to the effect of the experimental diets (P>0.05).

Table 4. Effect of discard red bean on the external and internal egg quality of laying hens


Experimental treatments





Week 40

Egg weight (g)




0. 23

Albumen height (mm)





Haugh unit





Shell break strength (kg F)





Eggshell thickness (mm)





Yolk color





Week 45

Egg weight (g)





Albumen height (mm)





Haugh unit





Shell break strength (kg F)





Eggshell thickness (mm)





Yolk color






One of the aims of this study was to evaluate whether the inclusion of 15% discard bean meal without previous treatment could influence the productivity of laying hens. Interestingly, the inclusion of discard beans promoted laying intensity and egg weight, being similar to what is mentioned in the Hy-line White® management manual (Hy-line International 2022). Apparently, the exogenous enzymes used On top could favor the availability of nutrients in the diet with discarded beans, which causes a better assimilation of these (Jabbar et al 2021), this was verified by the increase in laying intensity by 3.11% and egg weight by 3.53 g (Table 3). It is known that enzymes vary in specificity, some are highly substrate specific, while others can bind to a wide range of substrates and catalyze (Guo et al 2022). Thus, Jaroni et al (1999) informed that the egg weight increased significantly with the inclusion of exogenous enzymes to a diet based on wheat, however, another study that added protease enzymes in the diet based on corn and soybean with a deficit of 4 and 10% in protein did not affect this productive parameter (Quispe 2005). Other studies are necessary to elucidate the relationship between the use of exogenous enzymes and substrates in diets rich in discarded red bean meal.

Also, the amino acids present in the discarded red bean meal could positively influence the intensity of laying and the egg weight (Table 3). In this sense, Wu et al (1996) found a high concentration of arginine and branched-chain amino acids in raw beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), and these amino acids were not controlled in the diets of this experiment (Table 2), thus it seems that diets with red bean meal had a higher concentration of these (Table 2). Arginine is known to be involved in the development of musculoskeletal health, antioxidant capacity, damaging lipids, and fat accumulation in poultry (Balnave and Barke 2002), also, branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) intervenes on growth, productivity, immunity, and intestinal health of poultry (Kim et al 2022).

Another factor that could influence these results is the bean variety (Amadeus 77). Genetic improvement plays a very important role in obtaining seeds with better characteristics, such as early maturation, high yield, nutritional quality of the grain, and resistance to insects and diseases (Suárez et al 2020). Also, it has been described that this genetic improvement provokes changes in the chemical and phytochemical composition (Aquino-Bolaños et al 2021). These modifications were probably expressed as a decrease in the level of antinutrients (Herrera et al 2021). Apparently, genetically improved discard bean meal (Amadeus 77) has a lower concentration of trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitors, normally found in concentrations of 39 U/g and 22 U/g, respectively (Wu and Whitaker, 1990). According to Kowalska et al (2021) the egg weight decreases when legume seeds are used in the diet as protein sources, due to the high concentration of tannins that decreases the absorption of sulfur amino acids, however, the present study showed different results, apparently this variety (Amadeus 77) has a low concentration of this polyphenolic compound (tannins), this was able to improve the productive performance in laying hens. However, more research is needed to confirm this hypothesis.

On the other hand, feed intake did not change because of the diets (Table 3). Apparently, the crude fiber content of the discarded beans did not influence this productive indicator, because the change in voluntary intake of feed may be related to the increase in dietary fiber in the diet, which increases gastrointestinal transit (Wang et al 2021), also, the fibrous content of bean fiber (6.1%) is similar to that of soymeal (5.9%) (El-Wahab et al 2021). Thus, the mass conversion that depends on the number of eggs produced (51%), feed intake (31%), and egg weight (18%) (Zelaya et al 2022), showed that the use of 15% of discarded red bean meal improved the productive efficiency of laying hens, demonstrated by the lower mass conversion (Table 3). Moreover, the use of discarded red bean meal increased the percentage of dirty eggs, by 2.82% (Table 3). This could occur due to the size of the egg, which in its journey through the oviduct channel drags a greater amount of feces contained in the cloaca and in some cases can cause small bleeding wounds at this level (Soler et al 2022).

Also, albumen height does not change due to experimental treatments, albumen height is a moderately heritable trait (Rath et al 2015). This result shows that beans included up to 15% in the diet did not influence egg protein synthesis, because lower protein availability has a direct impact on albumen height (Castiblanco et al 2021). Likewise, no significant differences were observed in the Haugh units. According to the classification provided by the USDA (2000), Haugh units above 72 are a sign of good egg quality. Thus, both treatments have excellent quality for their commercialization (Martínez et al 2021a).

The eggshell thickness ensures a better egg resistance, which has a favorable effect in reducing the number of broken eggs and their longer time on the shelf. Shell quality is important to ensure the profitability and sustainability of egg production (He et al 2022). Thus, the use of discard beans increased the eggshell thickness in both tests of external egg quality (Table 4). However, Laudadio and Tufarelli (2010) found no changes in the external quality of the egg when totally substituting soymeal for fava bean (Vicia faba var. minor) meal. According to Roberts (2004), laying hens are very susceptible to the availability of calcium for egg formation, thus shell thickness can vary due to the composition of the diet and the concentration of secondary metabolites found in it. Thus, the bean variety (Amadeus 77) could influence this result, also to the use of exogenous enzymes that provoke the greatest release of available calcium and phosphorus.

On the other hand, the inclusion with 15% of discarded red bean meal replaced 10.77% of cornmeal in the diet (Table 2), which provoked a drastic decrease in the yolk color, due to the fact that the corn yellow is rich in zeaxanthin and other pigments (Kljab et al 2021). One of the strategies is the use of natural or artificial pigments in the diets to correct the color of the yolk according to the market (Martínez et al 2021b).



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