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The influence of diet composition and tissue taurine content on the incidence of sudden death syndrome in male broiler chickens Jacob, Jacqueline Patricia


Five experiments were conducted with male broiler chickens to study the influence of diet composition on the incidence of Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS). In Experiment 1, the effects of 4 levels of dietary lactate (0, 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5% calcium lactate) and 4 levels of dietary glucose (0, 15, 30 and 45% cerelose) were studied in a factorial experiment with 1280 chicks reared in battery brooder cages to 4 weeks of age. There were no significant differences in either total mortality or mortality due to SDS. In Experiments 2, 3 and 4, the chicks were fed isocaloric and isonitrogenous diets with either corn or wheat as the grain type and meat meal or soybean meal as the main protein source. In Experiments 2 and 3, the chicks (6000 and 9600, respectively) were raised in floor pens to 6 weeks of age while in Experiment 4, the chicks (640) were reared in battery brooder cages to 4 weeks of age. SDS mortality was affected by both cereal type and protein source. Broilers fed wheat based diets had a higher incidence of SDS mortality than those fed corn based diets. The incidence of SDS was higher when meat meal was excluded from the diet. In Experiment 5, the chicks were fed diets supplemented with guanidinoethy1 sulfonate (GES), a taurine transport inhibitor in rats. At 4 weeks of age broilers receiving 1.50% dietary GES had significantly lower (p<.05) cardiac taurine concentrations, but significantly higher (p<.05) brain taurine concentrations than controls. There was no effect of GES supplementation on total mortality or the incidence of SDS.

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