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Br J Nutr. 1993 Nov;70(3):667-78.

Protein and energy relationships in the broiler chicken. Effects of protein quantity and quality on metabolism.

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  • 1Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, MD 20705.


Male broiler chickens growing from 7 to 35 d were fed on a diet containing 150 g crude protein (N x 6.25)/kg diet supplemented with lysine to equal that in diets containing 166, 183 and 200 g crude protein/kg diet (Expt 1). A second group of male broiler chickens growing over the same period were fed on a diet containing 120 g crude protein/kg supplemented with lysine, arginine, tryptophan, threonine and isoleucine equal to that in diets containing 144, 172 and 200 g crude protein/kg diet (Expt 2). Growth was improved by lysine supplementation but not to the level attained by feeding 200 g crude protein/kg (Expt 1). Lysine, arginine, tryptophan, threonine and isoleucine supplementation of a low-protein diet also improved growth, but growth again fell short of that attained by feeding a diet containing 200 g crude protein/kg. Plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 and thyroxine concentrations increased and triiodothyronine decreased as the crude protein level increased from 150 to 200 g/kg diet. Supplemental lysine did not affect plasma levels of these hormones. Although dietary crude protein levels noticeably changed rates of in vitro lipogenesis, changing either the level of a single limiting amino acid or the levels of several limiting amino acids did not change lipogenesis.

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