Evaluation of Protein and Energy Quality of Rendered Spent Hen Meals

Michele W. Douglas, Michelle L. Johnson, Carl M. Parsons

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This study evaluated three spent hen meals (SHM) that were produced in commercial rendering plants. The levels (percentage) of selected nutrients (mean and range) in the meals were: CP, 64 (56 to 71); ash, 16 (12 to 18); lysine, 4.0 (3.6 to 4.3); methionine, 1.3 (1.2 to 1.4); cystine, 1.1 (0.8 to 1.5). Protein efficiency ratios (PER; weight gain per unit of protein intake) were determined in chicks fed 10% CP diets containing a SHM as the only source of dietary protein. The PER values for the SHM averaged 1.6 but varied from 1.1 to 2.2. An experiment was conducted using New Hampshire × Columbian chicks during the 7 to 20 d age period to determine the effect of substitution with either 7.5 or 15% of a SHM to a 21.5% CP corn-soybean meal diet. When substituted at 7.5%, growth performance was not affected by two of the SHM but was depressed by the other one. Growth performance was decreased by all SHM when substituted at 15% of the diet. True amino acid digestibility and TMEn of the SHM were determined using the precision-fed cecectomized rooster assay in which four roosters were crop-intubated with 30 g of a SHM and excreta were collected for 48 h. True amino acid digestibility varied among SHM (P ≤ 0.05) and digestibility of cystine was substantially lower than digestibility of the other amino acids. Mean TMEn (kilocalories per gram of DM) of the SHM was 3.003 but varied by 44% among samples. The results of this study indicated that SHM has substantial nutritional value for poultry but the nutritional quality may vary greatly among samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1387-1391
Number of pages5
JournalPoultry science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1997


  • Amino acid digestibility
  • Protein quality
  • Spent hen meal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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