In common with other vertebrate animals, poultry (chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese) require a core of ten amino acids for optimum growth and food utilization (see Table 1.1). These amino acids must be supplied in the diet in balanced proportions if growth performance is to be maximized. In addition, some combination of the non-essential amino acids should be provided to maximize growth potential. The issue of dietary essential to non-essential amino acid ratios has been presented in Chapter 6. As regards broilers, the data of Bedford and Summers (1985) suggest an ideal ratio of 55:45 for optimal growth performance, efficiency of food utilization and carcass protein accretion.
This chapter reviews the methods used to determine the responses of growing poultry to essential amino acids and attempts to evaluate the wide range of factors that modify these responses. Estimation of 'requirements' for individual amino acids will not be considered here since such information is of limited interpretive value. As Morris (1983) aptly stated: 'what the practical nutritionist needs to know is the rate at which an animal in a given class, in a reasonably well-defined nutritional and environmental context, will respond to incre mental inputs of a given nutrient. Armed with this information, and a knowledge of his marginal costs and the value of the extra output, he can calculate an optimum dose.'
Was this article helpful?
Find out why long exhausting workouts may do more harm than good. Most of the body-building workout and diet regimens out there are designed for the guys that gain muscle and fat easily. They focus on eating less and working out more in order to cut the excess fat from their bodies while adding needed muscle tone.