Effect of amino acids and vitamin D3 on performance and biological responses in poultry
As productive performance is improved by breed selection, amino acid requirements may change to support this higher performance in poultry. The first objective of this dissertation was to update the valine and tryptophan requirement of small-framed laying hens and the lysine requirement of young broilers using empirical dose-response methods. The tryptophan requirement was estimated as 155.8 mg/d for egg mass, 153.2 mg/d for egg production and 140.4 mg/d for feed conversion ratio using a linear broken line model. For valine, the requirement was highest for egg mass, 597.3 mg/d, followed by egg production, 591.9 mg/d and feed conversion ratio (FCR), 500.5 mg/d. The lysine requirement of young chicks was estimated by conducting four short term experiments from 1 to 3, 3 to 5, 5 to 8 and 8 to 11 days of age, respectively. The lysine requirement from 1 to 3, 3 to 5 and 5 to 8 days of age were not able to be estimated as no dose response was observed on growth performance most likely due to an overestimation of the lysine requirement. Digestible lysine requirement from 8 to 11 days of age was 1.057%, 1.050% and 1.016% based on body weight gain, FCR and pectoralis major weight using a linear broken line model, respectively. In addition to determining amino acid requirements, research was conducted to develop a new bacterial protein meal for use in laying hens diets. The data suggested that diets containing 7.5% of the bacterial protein meal was able to at least maintain egg production in laying hens, but 15% bacterial protein meal resulted in reduced performance.
The second objective of this dissertation was to investigate the effects of various concentrations of dietary vitamin D3 on pullet and laying hen performance, eggshell quality and bone health in laying hens. Pullets/hens were randomly assigned to five dietary treatments containing vitamin D3 from 1,681 to 68,348 IU/kg diet from day of hatch until 68 weeks of age. These data suggested that dietary vitamin D3 fed at 68,348 IU/kg resulted in reduced egg production, but vitamin D from 8,348 to 35,014 IU/kg diet maintained egg production, increased egg vitamin D content in a dose dependent manner, and generally increased both eggshell quality and pullet and hen bone mineral status.