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The effect of dietary nucleotides when fed to young chickens and turkeys, on performance, N and amino acid metabolisability

The aim of this study was to determine the effect of supplementary nucleotides (Ohly GmbH, Hamburg) on dietary N and amino acid availability when fed to young chickens and turkeys.

Year of Publication2009

Nucleotides are not considered to be essential nutrients because they can be synthesized endogenously. However, their synthesis is a metabolically costly process, suggesting that the use of dietary nucleotides when DNA and RNA turnover is rapid, e.g. in early nutrition or during an immune response, may be effective in improving performance and health of birds. It has been reported that supplementation of the diet with nucleotides improves gut development and functioning, and also the growth performance of chicks in the first week after hatch. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of supplementary nucleotides (Ohly GmbH, Hamburg) on dietary N and amino acid availability when fed to young chickens and turkeys. Four hundred day-old male birds (two-hundred Ross 308 chickens and two-hundred BUT 8 turkeys) were assigned to eighty metabolism cages (five birds each species per cage). The birds were fed one of five mash wheat-soybean meal based diets; The control diet was based on NRC (1994) recommendations for chickens and turkeys respectively, to which was supplemented 0, 0.15, 0.30, 0.60 or 1.20 g of nucleotides/kg feed from 0 to 21 days of age. The diets were randomised across all cages in a randomised block design, with block representing tier height. Total excreta output was collected and feed intake determined during the last 48 hours of the study. Feed and excreta samples were analysed for N and amino acid content. Growth and intake were also determined over the whole 21 day period.

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nucleotidesturkeysgrowthamino acidschickens
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Supporting the development of the national rural economy.

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