Several experiments were conducted to evaluate various methodologies for determining availability of amino acids (AA) and energy in alfalfa meal (AM), feather meal (FM), and poultry by-product meal (PBPM). Digestibility of AA was determined with 48-h precision-fed cockerel assays using conventional (CONV) and cecectomized (CEC) cockerels. Amino acid bioavailability was assessed with chick growth assays. True digestibility values of most AA were significantly lower for CEC than for CONV cockerels. In the chick growth assays, partitioning weight gains to reflect only growth attributable to supplemental crystalline AA or test feedstuff AA consumption often yielded higher bioavailability values than when total weight gains were used for FM and PBPM but lower ones for AM. The magnitude of differences between AA digestibility (cockerels) and AA bioavailability (chicks) values varied among feedstuffs; the largest differences were observed for FM. The TMEn values of AM and PBPM were lower for CEC birds than for CONV birds, whereas TMEn of FM was similar for both types of birds.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology