There is no formal recommendation, regarding dietary concentration, when it comes to feeding distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to young broilers. This study evaluated the effects of varying levels of DDGS in a diet to young broilers from 0 to 14d of age. Diets ranged from 0 to 32% DDGS concentration, with 8% increments. Increasing inclusion rate of DDGS led to decreased body weight gain (BWG), whereas mortality seemed to be linearly increased. However, there was an increase seen in feed conversion (FCR) in conjunction with the increase in DDGS in the diet. An inclusion level of 8% DDGS or less is recommended for starter diets for broiler chicks.
The effect of dietary protein on growth, carcass traits and some specific intestinal intestinal peptide and amino acid transporters in broiler chickens was studied. Birds received a common pre-test diet, and were subsequently fed either a standard positive control diet (PC) or a reduced CP diet (RCP) from 21 to 42 d of age. Growth was negatively impacted with feeding of RCP as manifested by an increase in feed consumption and feed conversion ratio. Carcass traits also showed evidence of negative effects of feeding the RCP diet, leading to a reduction in carcass and breast meat yield and an increase in abdominal fat percentage. Blood plasma total protein was reduced when the broilers were fed the RCP diet. Expression of mRNA for one peptide (PepT1) and four AA intestinal transporters (b o,+AT; CAT2; y+LAT2; EAAT3) was measured from the jejunum. Quantified mRNA for the AA transporters y+LAT2 and EAAT3 showed that they were up-regulated in chickens fed the RCP-diet. The transport systems PepT1, b o,+AT, and CAT2, were not affected by the dietary treatment imposed. The live and processing data validated the in vivo portion of the study and elucidated the negative impact of feeding the RCP diet, while the responses observed with the expression of the various transporters may help provide some insight on the physiological consequences and adaptations that birds endure when provided diets too low in CP for abnormally extended periods of time.