Effects of lysine biomass supplementation on growth performance and clinical indicators in broiler chickens

Julianna C. Jespersen, Susann Richert, Juliano Cesar de Paula Dorigam, Maci L. Oelschlager, Ryan N. Dilger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Production of crystalline amino acids (AA) through microbial fermentation concomitantly provides an AA-enriched biomass that may serve as a cost-effective supplement for broiler chickens. We investigated the effects of feeding a fermentation biomass product containing approximately 62% Lys on growth performance, organ growth, and clinical outcomes of broilers. Beginning at 2 d post-hatch, a total of 360 Ross 308 chicks were randomly assigned to 1 of 5 treatments provided to 12 replicate cages of 6 birds. Practical corn-soybean meal-based dietary treatments included: negative control (NC; no supplementation of L-Lys, 1.01 and 0.86% standardized ileal digestible Lys in starter and grower phases, respectively), NC + 0.23% L-Lys HCl (positive control; PC), and NC supplemented with 0.30, 0.90, or 1.50% Lys biomass (LB) in both phases. Feed and water were provided ad libitum throughout the study. Individual bird and feeder weights were recorded on study day 0, 10, 21, and 35. At study conclusion, birds from each treatment were randomly selected to collect blood and tissue samples. The PC and 0.30% LB diets elicited similar overall (day 0–35) body weight gain and birds were heavier (P < 0.001) than the NC and other LB treatments. The PC, 0.30% LB, and 0.90% LB groups had better (P < 0.001) overall feed conversion ratio than NC. Some LB-supplemented treatments elicited increased (P < 0.001) relative spleen and ileum weight compared with NC and PC. Heterophils were increased (P < 0.001) in LB treatments compared with PC and NC. Lymphocytes were decreased (P < 0.001) in LB treatments compared with NC, and 1.50% LB was similar to PC. This resulted in an increased (P < 0.001) heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratio in some LB treatments, which may have resulted from general AA supplementation or the LB product. Collectively, these results suggest that addition of up to 0.30% LB restored growth performance when added to a Lys-deficient practical diet and elicited results identical to the Lys-adequate PC diet with no negative clinical effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100971
JournalPoultry science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • biomass
  • broiler
  • clinical chemistry
  • lysine
  • performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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