Estimation of broiler responses to increased dietary methionine hydroxy analogue [DL-2-hydroxy-(4-methylthio) butanoic acid] using linear and nonlinear regression models

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As the first limiting amino acid in corn-soy broiler diets, methionine (Met) is supplemented using commercial synthetic sources as demanded to obtain economic feed formulations. The Met analogue DL-2-hydroxy-4-(methylthio)-butanoic acid (HMTBA) is largely utilized with that objective. This study intended to obtain responses of broilers fed with increasing levels of HMTBA, from 28 to 42 d, such that economic returns can be calculated. A total of 2,106 Cobb × Cobb 500 one-day-old male broilers was randomly placed in 81 floor pens (2.7 m2 each). Birds were fed conventional starter (zero to 14 d) and grower (14 to 28 d) diets. Starting at 28 d of age, pens of 26 birds were randomly allocated into 9 feed treatments with 9 replications having increasing supplementations with HMTBA (0.00, 0.07, 0.14, 0.21, 0.28, 0.35, 0.42, 0.49 and 0.56%). These were prepared by mixing different proportions of corn-soy dilution and summit diets, which had the same formulated concentration of nutrients and energy [19.7% CP, 0.90% Ca, 0.45% Av. P, 0.95% digestible Lys, and 3,150 kcal/kg AMEn], with the exception of HMTBA [0.56% in the summit but not supplemented in the corn-soy dilution diet (0.52% digestible TSAA)]]. Growth performance was evaluated until 42 d when carcass yield and commercial cuts were evaluated using 6 birds randomly taken from each pen. Body weight gain (BWG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), proportion of breast fillets, and abdominal fat were adjusted using linear broken-line, exponential asymptotic and quadratic polynomial regression models (P < 0.05). Estimations of maximum responses for supplemented HMTBA by the linear broken-line model were 0.17% for BWG, 0.14% for FCR, and 0.29% for breast fillets. Using exponential and quadratic regressions, optimized HMTBA supplementations were obtained at 0.34 and 0.35% for BWG, 0.20 and 0.33% for FCR, and 0.31 and 0.36% for breast fillets, respectively. Supplemental levels of HMTBA that optimize growth performance and breast meat in male broilers from 28 to 42 d, using different regression models, varied from 0.14 to 0.36%.

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