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TDK conference 2013

Effects of arginine and glutamine supplementation in a broiler model experiment
Weisz Andrea - year 5
SzIU, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Department of Animal Breeding, Nutrition and Laboratory Animal Science
Supervisors: Szabó József, Andrásofszky Emese


During the study I investigated the possible effects of the supplementation of the broiler feed (composition recommended by the NRC) with arginine (ARG), glutamine (GLN), and a combination of these amino acids on the growth and immune systems of the animals.

During the experiment, the 432 roosters (Ross 308) were divided into six treatment groups. The treatments were as follows: (1) Control (basic feed (BF), as needed / NRC 1994 /), (2) BF +0.5% ARG, (3) BF 1% ARG (4) BF +0,5% GLN (5) BF +1% GLN, (6) BF +0.5%ARG +0.5% GLN). The experimental animals were given ad libitum feed and drinking water from the 1st day of life, their weight and feed consumption were measured weekly.

On the 18th day of life 18 animals per group were immunized with bovine serum albumin. On the day of the immunization, and on the subsequent 10th and 20th days, blood samples were taken from the chickens for analysis of the immune response. On the day of immunization and on the 38th day of life (the end of the experiment) 5 animals per treatment were necropsied and the weight of the liver, spleen, bursa Fabricii, thymus, small intestine, and the empty body were measured. At the end of the experiment, samples were also taken from the organs for histological examinations.


At the end of the experiment the weight of the groups with ARG supplementation was significantly higher than that of the control group, while the weight of the GLN supplemented groups was below that.

The arginine supplemetation improves the specific feed conversion efficiency (0.5% ARG by 5%, and 1% ARG by 1.8% compared to the control), while the glutamine supplementation reduces it (4.4%, and 6.98%, respectively). The combined GLN and ARG supplementation resulted in 3% improvement.

The immunization increased the relative weight of the spleen, bursa and thymus. The immunization decreased the relative weight of the small intestine, but as an effect of the supplementation of ARG and GLN it exceeded the value of the non-immunized control group. The GLN supplementation significantly increased the relative weight of the thymus and bursa, the ARG only had a positive effect on the thymus.

The 0.5% ARG supplementation significantly increased the titer value compared even to the immunized control group, but the addition of 1% ARG significantly decreased it. The GLN increased the titer value proportionally with the supplementation.

During the histological examination there was no significant difference considering either the villus length or the crypt depth.

Based on our results above it can be concluded, that the 0,5% ARG supplementation in addition to the NRC recommendation has a positive effect on the weight gain and feed conversion, and also on the immune responsiveness; the 0,5% GLN improves the functions of the immune system of the chickens, beside the slight deterioration of the production parameters.

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