The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of replacing soybean meal with canola meal in broiler diets on performance, liver histopathology, morphometry of the intestinal mucosa and thyroid. One-day-old Cobb chicks (n=300) were distributed in a completely randomized design, with increasing levels of replacement of soybean meal with canola meal (0, 25, 50, 75 and 100%) and 6 repetitions of 10 birds each. Weight gain decreased linearly (P< 0.05) with increasing levels of inclusion of canola meal, in all stages. Villus height in the duodenum and jejunum linearly decreased (P< 0.05). Follicle diameter and thyroid follicular epithelium height increased linearly with increasing levels of canola meal (P< 0.05). Similarly, there was an increase in relative weight of liver and heart, and liver steatosis in the highest levels of replacement. In conclusion, the replacement of soybean meal with canola meal can reduce performance, adversely affecting the thyroid, liver and the morphometric characteristics in the duodenum and jejunum.
nutrition; poultry; proteins; thyroid gland