Murray State Theses and Dissertations


Hempseed has become a popular supplement alternative due to the confounding nutritional benefits it possesses; however, the legality of hempseed, and other hemp products, prevents the use in animal feeds. Particularly, broiler chickens that grow fairly quickly in a short amount of time. Evaluation of hempseed in the broiler chicken diet is needed to conclude if it is a possible replacement for other broiler nutrient sources, such as soybean meal (SBM). Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of hempseed (HS) on the growth, feed conversion and carcass yield of broilers. This study consisted of 48 Ross 708 broilers housed in individual cages. The broiler diets consisted of a grower concentrate with: Control (0% HS, 15% SBM), 10% HS (5% SBM) and 15% HS (0% SBM). Body weights, feed conversion ratios and carcass yields were measured. Net weight gain was observed, F(2, 45) = 1.45, p = 0.25, where no diet group was significant. Average daily weight gain was similar F(2, 45) = 1.18, p = 0.32. However, the feed conversion ratio (FCR) was statistically significant F(2, 45) = 4.39, p = 0.02, resulting in the Control diet to have the best FCR and the 15% HS diet with the worse FCR. Carcass yield was not significant F(2, 45) = 2.93, p = 0.06. Data indicates the hempseed diets did not benefit the broilers’ performance, however, the feed analysis determined the hempseed fiber content was higher than recommended for broiler nutrition. Adjustments to the diet should be made to determine the correct amounts of protein and fiber.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

hemp, chickens, poultry, hempseed, broiler, feed

Thesis Advisor

Brian Parr

Committee Chair

Kristie Guffey

Committee Member

Alyx Shultz

Document Type