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Effects of dietary supplementation of choline and carnitine on growth performance, meat oxidative stability and carcass composition of broiler chickens fed diets with different metabolisable energy levels

Jahanian, R., Ashnagar, M.
British poultry science 2018 v.59 no.4 pp. 470-476
average daily gain, breast muscle, broiler chickens, broiler feeding, carcass composition, carcass yield, carnitine, choline, dietary supplements, experimental diets, feed conversion, feed intake, growth performance, lipid content, malondialdehyde, meat, metabolizable energy, oxidative stability, protein content, tissue weight, water content
1. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of two lipotropic factors (choline and carnitine) on growth performance, oxidative stability of leg and breast muscles and carcass characteristics in broiler chickens fed diets differing in metabolisable energy (ME) levels. 2. A total of 540 one-d-old Ross 308 broiler chicks were allotted to 9 experimental diets, including three ME levels (control, or 0.42 or 0.84 MJ/kg higher ME) and three types of supplemental lipotropic factors (control, 1000 mg/kg of choline or 100 mg/kg of carnitine) as a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments. Average daily feed intake (ADFI), average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were recorded during the starter (1–14 d of age), grower (15–28 d of age) and finisher (29–42 d of age) periods. 3. Results showed that the increase in dietary ME level had no impact on ADFI during the starter and grower periods. In the finisher period, increasing dietary ME decreased (P < 0.001) ADFI. Raising dietary ME level by 0.84 MJ/kg resulted in the greater ADG during the grower (P < 0.05) and finisher (P < 0.001) periods. Moreover, an improvement in FCR was observed with feeding the +0.84 MJ/kg diet. Dietary supplementation of lipotropic factors improved FCR values in birds fed the control and +0.84 MJ/kg diets during the grower and finisher periods (P < 0.01). 4. Dietary supplementation of both choline and carnitine increased (P < 0.05) moisture content of leg muscle, although malondialdehyde content of leg muscle was decreased (P < 0.01) in the presence of both lipotropic factors. Dietary supplementation of carnitine decreased (P < 0.01) leg fat content, and this effect was more obvious with higher ME levels, giving a significant ME × lipotrope interaction (P < 0.05). Higher dietary ME level (+0.84 MJ/kg) reduced (P < 0.05) protein content of breast muscle, but this factor was increased (P < 0.05) by dietary supplementation of choline. 5. Although dietary ME level had no marked effect on carcass yield and internal organ weight, supplemental choline increased (P < 0.01) carcass yield. 6. The results from this trial indicated that dietary supplementation with lipotropic factors can improve feed efficiency in high energy diets. In addition, oxidative stability of leg/breast muscles was improved as a result of dietary supplementation with choline or carnitine.