The effects of 3 dietary amino acid (AA) profiles during lay on reproductive performance of broiler breeders were investigated. A flock of 2,376 Ross 708 female broiler breeders were randomly divided into 3 treatments with 12 replicates of 66 females per replicate, and fed 2 breeder feed phases (breeder 1: 25 to 36 wk; breeder 2: 37 to 60 wk) which were formulated to 3 different AA densities (Aviagen advice = control; 10% increased AA in Aviagen advice = high-AA; and estimated AA needs for maintenance, growth, and egg mass = estimated-AA). No differences in total or hatching egg production due to dietary treatments were observed. Hens fed high-AA had a higher incidence of double-yolk eggs. During the second phase of lay, hens fed estimated-AA had lower livability compared to the other treatments. Hens fed estimated-AA also laid smaller eggs compared to control and high-AA fed birds. Back feather cover deteriorated as hens grew older, and hens fed the estimated-AA diets had poorer feather cover from 41 wk onward. Overall, these results suggest that feeding higher AA levels than Aviagen recommendations presented no benefit in reproductive performance or feather quality. The estimated-AA feeding approach supported laying performance similar as other treatments, although affected egg weight and back feather cover.
Key words: broiler breeder hen, amino acids, feathering, egg production.
Abstract published in Poultry Science 2018, 0:1–8. http://dx.doi.org/10.3382/ps/pey55.