The nutritional value of different categories of peas was measured in mash or pelleted diets using adult cockerels. Twenty-five round and white-flowered peas (feed peas), 12 round and coloured-flowered peas and five wrinkled and white-flowered peas were used in mash diets. From the same batches, 11 feed peas, five coloured peas and four wrinkled peas were tested in pelleted diets.
Mean apparent metabolizable energy (AME) values were 12·02, 11·35 and 10·50 MJ/kg dry matter (DM) for feed peas, coloured peas and wrinkled peas respectively in mash diets and 13·18, 12·72 and 11·63 MJ/kg DM for the same categories in pelleted diets.
Mean starch digestibility was 0·905, 0·887 and 0·802 for feed peas, coloured peas and wrinkled peas respectively in mash diets and 0·985, 0·984 and 0·840 for these categories in pelleted diets.
Mean protein digestibility was 0·788, 0·643 and 0·798 for feed peas, coloured peas and wrinkled peas respectively in mash diets and corresponding values for peas in pelleted diets were 0·855, 0·743 and 0·853.
Pelleting thus had a positive effect on the nutritional value of peas and this improvement was all the more important because the AME and protein digestibility of the pea in mash diets was low.
The nutritional value of feed peas for cockerels was not strongly correlated with chemical composition or to digestibility data obtained in the pig.