Protein digestive dynamics of meat and bone meals in broiler chickens

Shemil P. Macelline, Leon McQuade, Bernard McInerney, Amy F. Moss, Peter H. Selle, Sonia Y. Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
69 Downloads (Pure)


This study determined the variations in protein digestibilities and digestion rates in broiler chickens offered diets containing 7 different meat and bone meals (MBM). A total of 252 male Ross 308 broiler chickens were offered 7 atypical diets largely based on maize and MBM from 24 to 28 d post-hatch. Each experimental diet was offered to 6 replicates with 6 birds per replicate cage. Excreta were collected in their entirety from 25 to 27 d post-hatch and on 28 d post-hatch. Digesta samples were collected from the proximal jejunum, distal jejunum, proximal ileum and distal ileum. Apparent digestibilities of protein were determined in each segment and apparent digestibilities of amino acids were measured in the distal ileum. There were significant differences in apparent protein digestibility coefficients in the proximal jejunum (P = 0.006), where broiler chickens offered the high ash beef meal (diet 7) generated the lowest protein digestibility in the proximal jejunum (0.318). Similarly, there were significant differences in apparent digestibility coefficients in the distal jejunum (P < 0.001) and distal ileum (P < 0.001) but not in the proximal ileum. More pronounced differences were found in the disappearance rate of protein and there were significant differences in all 4 segments of the small intestine (P < 0.001). Broiler chickens offered the high ash beef meal had the lowest protein disappearance rate (P < 0.001). No difference was observed in the predicted protein digestion rate (P = 0.486) but chickens offered the high ash beef meal had the lowest potential digestible protein (0.662, P = 0.034) whereas the highest potential digestible protein (0.739) was detected in diet 5 (containing a beef meal). This study contributed to the establishment of a preliminary database to include digestion rates of starch and protein into practical diet formulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-528
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Publisher 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Amino acid
  • Digestibility
  • Digestive dynamics
  • Meat and bone meal
  • Protein digestion rate


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