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Title: Supplementation of reduced protein diets with L-arginine and L-citrulline for broilers challenged with subclinical necrotic enteritis. 1. Growth, carcass yield, and intestinal lesion scores
Contributor(s): Dao, Hiep Thi  (author); Sharma, Nishchal K  (author)orcid ; Daneshmand, Ali  (author); Kumar, Alip  (author); Bradbury, Emma J (author); Wu, Shu-Biao  (author)orcid ; Swick, Robert A  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2022
Early Online Version: 2022-03-04
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1071/AN21393
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Context. Improving immune status through nutritional adjustments may be part of an effective strategy to reduce reliance on antibiotic growth promoters for controlling necrotic enteritis (NE) in broiler chickens. Aims. This study examined the effect of dietary protein level and the replacement of crystalline L-arginine (Arg) with L-citrulline (Cit) in the reduced-protein diet on the performance of broilers challenged with subclinical NE. Methods. Ross 308 cockerels (n= 720) were randomly allocated to six dietary treatments, with eight replicates of 15 birds per pen, during a 35-day feeding experiment. The treatments were as follows: standard protein without NE challenge (SP−); standard protein with NE challenge (SP+); reduced protein (two percentage points lower crude protein) without NE challenge (RP−); reduced protein with NE challenge (RP+); RP+ plus added Arg (103% of RP, RPA+) and RPC+ where supplemental Arg in RPA+ was replaced with Cit. The first four treatments were considered as a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement, with factors being NE (− or +) and protein level (SP or RP). Treatments SP+, RP +, RPA+, and RPC+ were analysed by one-way ANOVA. Key results. Subclinical NE challenge reduced feed intake (FI), reduced body weight gain (BWG) and increased feed to gain ratio (FCR) from Day 0 to Day 35, increased intestinal lesion scores on Day 16, and reduced relative breast yield on Day 35 (P < 0.05). Feeding RP diets increased FI (P < 0.001), increased BWG (P < 0.01) and reduced FCR (P < 0.01) during the grower phase compared with SP diets when birds were challenged with NE. Birds in the RPC+ treatment had a lower overall FCR than did those in the SP+ treatment (P < 0.001). Birds in the RPA+ treatment had similar FI, BWG and FCR to those in the RP+ treatment (P > 0.05). Conclusions. Collectively, the results showed protective effects of replacing the supplemental Arg with Cit against NE in RP diets, as indicated by higher performance during and after the challenge. Implications. Feeding the RP diets supplemented with Cit may be part of an effective strategy to reduce reliance on antibiotic growth promoters for controlling NE in broiler chickens.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Animal Production Science, p. A-N
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1836-5787
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300303 Animal nutrition
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100411 Poultry
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
PoultryHub Australia
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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