Implications of excreta uric acid concentrations in broilers offered reduced-crude protein diets and dietary glycine requirements for uric acid synthesis

Peter H. Selle, David I. Cantor, Leon R. McQuade, Bernard V. McInerney, Juliano Cesar de Paula Dorigam, Shemil P. Macelline, Peter V. Chrystal, Sonia Y. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In a previous experiment, male Ross 308 broiler chickens were offered dietary treatments with 3 levels of crude protein (222, 193, 165 g/kg) and 3 feed grains (ground maize, ground wheat, whole wheat) from 7 to 35 d post-hatch. Maize-based diets supported superior growth performance in comparison to wheat-based diets. Uric acid concentrations in excreta were retrospectively determined and related to total nitrogen (N) excreta concentrations. Uric acid concentrations ranged from 28.5 to 69.4 mg/g and proportions of uric acid-N to total excreta-N ranged from 27.4% to 42.6% in broiler chickens offered the 3 × 3 factorial array of dietary treatments. Proportions of uric acid-N to total N in excreta in birds offered the 165 g/kg CP, maize-based diet were significantly lower by 10.6 percentage units (27.4% versus 38.0%; P = 0.00057) than their wheat-based counterparts. Total excreta analysed had been collected from 35 to 37 d post-hatch when feed intakes and excreta outputs were monitored. There were linear relationships between proportions of uric acid-N to total N in excreta in birds offered the three 165 g/kg CP diets with weight gain (r = -0.587; P = 0.010), feed intake (r = -0.526; P = 0.025) and feed conversion ratios (r = 0.635; P = 0.005). The possibility that increasing uric acid-N proportions in excreta is indicative of excessive ammonia accumulations compromising growth performance is discussed. The mean proportion of dietary glycine involved in uric acid excretion was 49.2% across all dietary treatments but ranged from 25.0% to 80.9%. Thus, the appropriate amount of dietary glycine is variable and largely dependent on the volume of uric acid synthesised and excreted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnimal nutrition
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Ammonia
  • Broiler chicken
  • Glycine
  • Reduced crude protein diet
  • Uric acid

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