Effect of Lowering Dietary Protein with Constant Energy to Protein Ratio on Growth, Body Composition and Nutrient Utilization of Broiler Chicks

  • Kamran, Z. (Institute of Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology, University of Agriculture) ;
  • Sarwar, M. (Institute of Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology, University of Agriculture) ;
  • Nisa, M. (Institute of Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology, University of Agriculture) ;
  • Nadeem, M.A. (Animal Nutrition, Animal Science Institute, National Agriculture Research Centre) ;
  • Ahmad, S. (Department of Poultry Science, University of Agriculture) ;
  • Mushtaq, T. (Institute of Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology, University of Agriculture) ;
  • Ahmad, T. (Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, PMAS Arid Agriculture University) ;
  • Shahzad, M.A. (Institute of Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology, University of Agriculture)
  • Received : 2007.10.09
  • Accepted : 2008.03.17
  • Published : 2008.11.01


A trial was conducted to determine the effect of low crude protein (CP) diets with constant metabolizable energy to crude protein (ME:CP) ratio on growth, body composition and nutrient utilization of broiler chicks from 1 to 26 days of age. Four dietary treatments having four levels of CP and ME as 23, 22, 21 and 20% and 3,036, 2,904, 2,772 and 2,640 kcal/kg, respectively, were formulated and a ME:CP ratio of 132 was maintained in all the diets. Digestible lysine was maintained at 1.10 of the diet. A total of 1,760 day-old Hubbard broiler chicks were randomly divided into 16 experimental units and each diet was offered to four experimental units at random. Feed intake was increased (p<0.05) while weight gain and feed conversion ratio were adversely affected (p<0.05) when the diets with low CP and ME were fed to broilers. Total protein intake and total ME intake were linearly decreased (p<0.05) and protein efficiency ratio and energy efficiency ratio were lower (p<0.05) than in the chicks fed dietary regimen with 22% CP and 2,904 kcal/kg ME. The whole body analysis of the birds revealed that chicks fed the lowest dietary regimens retained less (p<0.05) nitrogen and more ether extract than chicks fed the control diet, however, body dry matter, total body ash and fat free body protein were not affected. Similarly, protein and energy utilization were also unaffected by the dietary treatments. In summary, chicks fed low CP diets with constant ME:CP ratio grew slower, used feed less efficiently and retained less protein and more body fat than chicks fed the control diet.


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