2019 Volume 56 Issue 3 Pages 204-211
Here, we investigated whether the optimal threonine (Thr) to lysine (Lys) ratio in high Lys diet improves the growth performance of modern broiler chickens at finisher period and determined the possible mechanism underlying improvement in the growth performance of chickens fed with high Lys or Lys + Thr diet using metabolome analyses. Eighteen 21-day-old chickens housed in individual cages were randomly divided into three groups of six chickens fed with different diets as follows: control diet, high Lys diet (150% Lys content of National Research Council requirement), and high Lys + Thr diet (0.68 of Thr/Lys in high Lys diet). Body weight gain (BWG) increased in chickens receiving high Lys diet as compared with those fed with the control diet (P<0.05); no significant difference was observed in BWG of chickens from high Lys + Thr and high Lys groups. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) was lower in chickens fed with high Lys or high Lys + Thr diet than in those on the control diet. Serotonin concentration increased in the plasma of chickens fed with high Lys diet as compared to those fed with other diets. A negative correlation was observed between plasma serotonin concentration and FCR. These results provide the first evidence on the use of high Lys in broiler diets to reduce FCR during finisher period, which may be associated with change in plasma serotonin concentration. These findings suggest that high Lys content in finisher diet, but not high Thr + Lys diet, may affect the peripheral serotonergic metabolism and improve FCR. Thus, plasma serotonin may serve as a biomarker of FCR in broilers.