Development of a precision-fed ileal amino acid digestibility assay using 3-week-old broiler chicks

E. J. Kim, P. L. Utterback, C. M. Parsons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of these studies was to develop a precision-fed ileal digestibility assay, primarily for amino acids (AA), using 3-wk-old broiler chicks. For all experiments, day-old Ross × Ross 708 broiler chicks were fed a standard corn-soybean meal starter diet until 21 d of age. In experiment 1, feed was removed and excreta were collected at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 h after feed withdrawal. Results indicated that 8 h of feed withdrawal was sufficient to empty the ileum of feed residues. In a subsequent experiment, chicks were fasted overnight for 10 h and then tube-fed various amounts (from 6 to 15 g) of a corn-soybean meal mixture (60:40). Ileal digesta from Meckel's diverticulum to the ileo-cecal junction were then collected at various collection times between 3 and 7 h postfeeding. Results indicated that the amount of digesta in the distal ileum was generally maximized by 4 h postfeeding and by feed intakes of 9 g or greater. Based on the results of the previous study, apparent and standardized ileal digestibility values of AA in a corn-soybean meal chick starter diet were then determined at 2, 3, and 4 h postfeeding. Digestibility values were similar for the 3- and 4-h collection times, but were numerically or significantly (P ≤ 0.05) lower at the 2-h collection time. The results of this study indicate that ileal AA digestibility can easily be determined in 3-wk-old broiler chicks when using a precision-fed assay. For such an assay, it is recommended that the chicks be fasted for at least 8 h before tube-feeding, that they be precision-fed approximately 10 g of feed, and that the ileal contents be collected at approximately 4 h postfeeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-401
Number of pages6
JournalPoultry science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011


  • Amino acid
  • Chick
  • Ileal digestibility
  • Precision feeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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