Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2003
Publication Date: 1/20/2003
Citation: Thornton, S.A., Barber, S.J., Virden, W.S., Thaxton, J.P., Kidd, M.T., Kerr, B.J. 2003. Arginine and coccidiosis responses in broiler chicks. Poultry Science. 82(1):93. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Arginine (Arg) is an essential amino acid in broilers that has numerous physiological and immunological functions, in addition to being required for growth. The experiment was a 3 x 2 factorial design of dietary Arg (1.00, 1.25, and 1.50% of diet) and coccidiosis (with and with out a field isolate of Eimeria tenella and acervulina) in Ross x Ross 308 male broiler from Days 4 to 18 (6 treatments with 8 replications). Birds were reared in starter batteries (9/pen) that were thermostatically controlled and had raised wire floors. At Day 11, birds were inoculated with 60,000 sporulated oocysts per os. Gross lesion scores were greater (P < 0.05) in birds inoculated with oocysts 3 d postinoculation. At 7 d postinoculation, gross lesions and relative liver and spleen weights were greater (P < 0.05) in inoculated birds than controls, but inoculated birds had depressed (P < 0.05) relative thymus weight. In addition, birds inoculated had poorer (P < 0.05) BW gain, feed conversion, and livability. Birds fed 1.50% dietary Arg had (P < 0.05) improved corrected feed conversion over birds fed the diet containing 1.00% Arg. Birds fed diets supplemented with Arg to 1.25 or 1.50% had depressed (P < 0.05) relative liver weights at 7 d postinoculation in comparison to birds fed the diet containing 1.00% Arg. An interaction occurred for percentage N retained that was measured 4 d postinoculation. The interaction indicated a depression in percentage N retained in inoculated birds fed 1.50% Arg in comparison to inoculated birds fed 1.25% Arg or uninoculated birds fed 1.00 or 1.50% Arg. Results indicate that birds fed diets containing low dietary Arg levels in comparison to birds fed diets containing Arg levels to optimize feed conversion (1.25 to 1.50% of diet) may have differing physiological and nutrient utilization responses to coccidiosis.