The present study examined the impacts of native, fermented or enzymatically treated peas (Pisum sativum L.) inclusion in broiler diets, on growth performance and nutrient digestibility. For the fermentation process, Madonna pea was mixed with water (1/1) containing 2.57×108
Bacillus subtilis (GalliPro®) spores/kg pea and then, incubated for 48 h at 30 °C. For the enzymatic treatment process, the used water for dough production contained three enzymes, AlphaGalTM (α-galactosidase), RONOZYME® ProAct and VP (protease and pectinases respectively – DSM, Switzerland) and the pea dough incubated for 24 h at 30°C. Nine corn-wheat-soybean diets were formulated by supplying 10%, 20% and 30% of the required CP with either native, fermented or enzymatically treated peas. Performance was recorded weekly and at the end of the experiment (day 35), apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of CP, amino acids (AA), crude fat, starch, Ca, P and K were determined. Data were subjected to ANOVA using GLM procedure with a 3×3 factorial arrangement of treatments. Both processes reduced α-galactosides, phytate, trypsin inhibitor activity and resistant starch in peas. Increasing levels of pea products up to 300 g/kg diet, reduced BW gain and feed intake (P⩽0.05). Broilers fed diets containing enzymatically treated pea had the best feed conversion ratio at day 35. Different types of pea product and their inclusion levels had no effect on AID of all nutrients. The interaction between type of the pea products and inclusion levels was significant for AID of starch. For native pea diets, 10% group showed similar AID of starch to 20% native pea but it had higher AID than 30% native pea. For fermented and enzymatically treated groups, all three levels displayed similar AID of starch. In conclusion, enzymatic treatment and fermentation could improve the nutritional quality of pea. Inclusion of enzymatically treated pea in broiler diets could improve broiler performance compared with other pea products while, it displayed neither positive nor negative impact on nutrient digestibility. The present findings indicate the feasibility of these processes, particularly enzymatic treatment, for improving the nutritional quality of pea as a protein source for broiler nutrition.