Examining the effect of dietary electrolyte balance, energy source, and length of feeding of nitrogen-free diets on ileal endogenous amino acid losses in broilersc1

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The effect of dietary electrolyte balance (DEB), energy source (ES), and length of feeding of nitrogen-free diet (NFD) on ileal endogenous amino acid (EAA) loss in mg/kg dry matter intake (DMI) was evaluated in broiler chickens. In Experiment 1, 720 chickens consisting of 15 replicate cages with 6 chickens/replicate were used. Treatments were arranged in a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial and consisted of 4 NFD with 2 levels (low or high) of DEB and 2 ES [corn starch (CS) or dextrose (DX)], and 2 sampling time-points (diets were fed for either 72 h (d 16 to 19) or 120 h (d 16 to 21). Experiment 2 used 360 chickens in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments with 2 levels (low or high) of DEB and 2 ES (CS or DX). Diets were fed for 72 h (d 18 to 21). All birds had access to feed and water on an ad libitum basis. Data were analyzed using the GLM procedure of SAS appropriate for a completely randomized design for a factorial arrangement of treatments. For Experiment 1, there were interactions (P < 0.05) between the 3 main factors for nitrogen and all the AA except Trp. Broilers that were fed DX-based NFD with high DEB for 72 h had the highest (P < 0.05) EAA losses. In Experiment 2, there was no interaction between DEB and ES except for His and Lys. When ileal EAA losses from birds fed the low DEB, CS-based NFD were used to standardize apparent ileal digestibility values from a previous study, there was no effect of length of feeding on standardized ileal AA digestibility values. In conclusion, DX-based NFD with high DEB increased endogenous AA loses. Despite differences in ileal EAA losses from CS-based NFD, standardized ileal AA digestibility values were not influenced by the length of feeding of NFD. Based on the results from these studies, NFD could be fed for 72 h without influencing SIAAD values.

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