Effects of Graded Dietary L-arginine Supply on Organ Growth in Four Genetically Diverse Layer Lines during Rearing Period

Lieboldt, Marc-Alexander GND; Halle, Ingrid GND; Frahm, Jana GND; Schrader, Lars GND; Weigend, Steffen GND; Preisinger, R.; Breves, G.; Dänicke, Sven GND

Little information has been available about the influence of genetic background and dietary L-arginine (Arg) supply on organ growth of chickens. Therefore, the present study examined the effects of a graded ad libitum Arg supply providing 70, 100 and 200 % of recommended Arg concentration on organ growth of female chickens from hatch to 18 weeks of age. The chickens derived from four layer lines of different phylogeny (white vs. brown) and laying performance (high vs. low). Based on residual feed and absolute body and organ weights recorded in six-week-intervals, feed consumption, changes of relative organ weights and allometric organ growth were compared between experimental groups. Surplus Arg caused higher feed intake than insufficient Arg (p < 0.01) that induced growth depression in turn (p < 0.05). During the entire trial chicken’s heart, gizzard and liver decreased relatively to their body growth (p < 0.001) and showed strong positive correlations among each other. On the contrary, proportions of pancreas and lymphoid organs increased until week 12 (p < 0.001) and correlated positively among each other. Due to their opposite growth behaviour (p < 0.001), internal organs were assigned to two separate groups. Furthermore, insufficient Arg induced larger proportions of bursa, gizzard and liver compared with a higher Arg supply (p < 0.05). In contrast to less Arg containing diets, surplus Arg decreased relative spleen weights (p <0.01). The overall allometric evaluation of data indicated a precocious development of heart, liver, gizzard, pancreas and bursa independent of chicken’s genetic and nutritional background. However, insufficient Arg retarded the maturation of spleen and thymus compared with an adequate Arg supply. In conclusion, the present results emphasised the essential function of Arg in layer performance, and indicated different sensitivities of internal organs rather to chicken’s dietary Arg supply than to their genetic background.




Lieboldt, Marc-Alexander / Halle, Ingrid / Frahm, Jana / et al: Effects of Graded Dietary L-arginine Supply on Organ Growth in Four Genetically Diverse Layer Lines during Rearing Period. 2015.


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