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Research article2009Peer reviewed

Protein supply in organic broiler diets

Eriksson, Maria; Elwinger, Klas


Organic feed legislation, long-rearing periods and high requirements of sulphur-rich amino acids (AAs) complicate the composition of a well-balanced organic diet for broilers. To evaluate the effect of protein and AA composition, three different diets were fed to 180 Ross broilers, divided over 45 pens. The diets comprised a low crude protein (CP) and AA diet, a high CP diet aiming at AA levels used in conventional production and a low protein diet supplemented with lysine, methionine and threonine up to levels of the high protein diet. Chickens were immunologically challenged with an inactivated infectious bursal disease (IBD) vaccine; antibody titres, heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratios, lymphoid organ weights and digestibility coefficients were recorded. In general, bird performance improved with increasing dietary CP and AA levels. Dietary treatments did not significantly affect any of the measured immune or stress-related parameters.


Amino acid; H/L ratio; immune response; lymphoid organ; organic production; stress; uric acid

Published in

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Science
2009, Volume: 59, number: 4, pages: 211-219