Nutrient requirements of meat chickens (broilers)

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Broiler chickens

The intake of nutrients is defined by the nutrient levels in the feed and the amount of feed consumed. Nutrient requirements of meat chickens (broilers) are outlined below.

Feed consumption and body weight

There are a number of factors that influence voluntary feed intake. These are discussed in the section on feed intake. Table 1 provides data on typical feed consumption and bodyweight for modern broiler chickens in relation to age and sex.

Table 1. Bodyweight and cumulative feed consumption for male and female broilers

Male

Female

Age  (weeks) Body weight (g) Cumulative
Feed Intake (g)
Body weight (g) Cumulative
Feed Intake (g)
0 40 0 40 0
1 170 150 165 145
2 450 480 420 460
3 865 1120 780 1030
4 1410 2020 1250 1825
5 2250 3200 1750 2830
6 2700 4500 2300 4020
7 3350 6000 2800 5400
8 3900 7400 3300 6800
9 4400 8800 3700 8200

Source: Poultry CRC

Nutrient levels for broiler diets

Feeding strategies for broiler chickens will vary depending on the target market for the final product. Strategies for feeding broilers destined for the whole bird market will differ from strategies for broilers destined to be sold as pieces. Furthermore, the nutrient intake of fast growing broilers must be carefully controlled to prevent metabolic diseases such as ascites and leg weakness. Table 2 provides data on typical levels of selected nutrients for broiler diets.

Broiler chicks

Table 2. Examples of broiler diets

Nutrients Units Starter
0-10 days
Grower
11-24 days
Finisher
>25 days
Protein % 22-25 21-23 19-21
Metabolisable energy Mj/Kg 12.60 13.30 13.50
Kcal/kg 3010 3175 3225
Total Arginine % 1.48 131 1.11
Digestible Arginine % 1.33 1.18 1.00
Total Lysine % 1.44 1.25 1.05
Digestible Lysine % 1.27 1.10 0.92
Total Methionine % 0.51 0.45 0.39
Digestible Methionine % 0.47 0.42 0.36
Total Methionine +Cystine % 1.09 0.97 0.83
Digestible Methionine +Cystine % 0.94 0.84 0.72
Total Threonine % 0.93 0.82 0.71
Digestible Threonine % 0.80 0.70 0.61
Total Trypophan % 0.25 0.22 0.19
Digestible Tryptophan % 0.22 0.19 0.17
Total Valine % 1.09 0.96 0.81
Digestible Valine % 0.94 0.83 0.70
Calcium % 1.0 0.90 0.85
Av.phosphorous % 0.50 0.45 0.42
Sodium % 0.16 0.16 0.16

Source: Ross Broiler Management Manual 2009

See Also:

Anatomy of the Chicken

This unique presentation shows the fundamental  structure and anatomy of the chicken

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