Gastrointestinal morphology, fatty acid profile, and production performance of broiler chickens fed camelina meal (CAM) or fish oil were investigated. One hundred and twenty eight 1-day-old Cobb chicks were randomly assigned to one of four treatments. Each treatment was replicated four times with eight chicks (n = 8). The experimental diets were: corn–soybean meal-based with 3.2% corn oil (control), control + 10% CAM, 10% camelina meal + 3.2% fish oil (CAM + FISH), and 3.2% fish oil (FISH). Villous height (VH) was lowest in the jejunum of FISH and CAM + FISH (p<0.04). Crypt depth (CD) was lowest in the jejunum of Control and CAM (p<0.002). Villous perimeter was higher in control and CAM when compared to CAM + FISH and FISH (p = 0.02). The VH:CD followed the order of control > CAM > CAM + FISH = FISH (p<0.0001). No difference was observed in villus width, surface area, and muscularis thickness. Total omega-6 fatty acids were higher in the duodenum of control and CAM than FISH and CAM + FISH diets (p<0.0001). Long chain (>20-C) omega-3 fatty acids were higher in CAM + FISH and FISH (p<0.0001). No significant differences were detected in the total saturated and total monounsaturated fatty acid content in the duodenum (p>0.05). Weight gain varied significantly and was lowest for CAM + FISH and FISH diets at Day 21 and 42 (p = 0.01). There were no differences in feed intake between control and CAM diets. However, inclusion of fish oil reduced feed consumption (p = 0.019).
Feeding camelina meal increased jejunal villus height, villus height: crypt depth and n-3 fatty acid incorporation in the duodenum when compared to fish oil in broiler diets. Feeding fish oil led to reduction in 42 day body weight.