Poultry science

Effect of early feed restriction on metabolic programming and compensatory growth in broiler chickens.

PMID 17369535


The effect of early feed restriction on metabolic programming and compensatory growth was studied in broiler chickens. A total of 480 female 1-d-old broiler birds (Aconred) were randomly allocated to ad libitum and feed-restricted groups, each of which was replicated 6 times with 40 birds per replicate. Broilers were provided commercial diets. Feed-restricted broilers were deprived of feed for 4 h per day from 1 to 21 d of age. Effects of treatments were determined at 21 and 63 d of age. In feed-restricted birds at 21 d of age, BW, average daily gain and average daily feed intake, breast muscle (P < 0.01), carcass yield (P < 0.05), and abdominal fat (P < 0.05) were decreased. Ether extract content in breast muscle was increased (P < 0.01), whereas CP content was slightly decreased. Triiodothyronine (P < 0.01) and thyroxine (P < 0.05) were decreased in serum. Free fatty acid and very low density lipoprotein were slightly increased in serum, whereas triglyceride and glucose were decreased (P < 0.01). Activities of NADPH-generating enzymes in liver including malic dehydrogenase, isocitrate dehydrogenase, and glucose-6-phosphate remained unchanged in ad libitum birds, whereas hormone-sensitive lipase activity was increased (P < 0.01). In feed-restricted birds at 63 d of age, BW, average daily gain, average daily feed intake, carcass yield, breast muscle yield, and serum triiodothyronine and thyroxine remained as ad libitum birds, whereas abdominal fat yield was increased (P < 0.05). Ether extract content in breast muscle was decreased (P < 0.01), whereas CP content was increased (P < 0.05). Activities of NADPH-generating enzymes were significantly increased, except abdominal malic dehydrogenase and hormone-sensitive lipase activity was decreased (P < 0.01) in liver and abdominal fat. Lipoprotein lipase activity was increased (P < 0.05) in abdominal fat. In summary, feed restriction severely affected growth performance and lipid metabolism in broilers in the early period. Because there was no statistical difference among the final BW, near full compensatory growth was achieved. In addition, early feed restriction might have induced prolonged metabolic programming in chicks and led to adult obesity.