Impact of dietary glutamine on amino acid digestibility values and intestinal morphometric parameters in neonate chicks
Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of fortification of the pre-starter diet with glutamine in post-hatch broiler chicks. In the first experiment, male chicks were used to study the impact of glutamine supplementation at three levels (0%, 1% and 2%) on performance, apparent faecal digestibility (AFD) and ileal digestibility (AID) of amino acids (AAs), as well as intestinal morphometric parameters from 0 to 14 days old. The best performance was obtained at 1% supplementation. Average daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were affected by treatments. Supplementing diets with glutamine resulted in increase of digestibility values for arginine (Arg), lysine (Lys), isoleucine (Ile) and valine (Val). Glutamine-supplemented diets led to higher villus height (VH) and shallower crypt depth (CD) in the jejunum and ileum. A second experiment was performed to investigate whether the form of glutamine could affect performance and morphometric parameters in newly hatched chickens. A control diet was prepared, based on casein as the sole source of protein-bound AAs. Three diets based on synthetic AAs were used to obtain nutrient values of the control diet, which were supplemented with a synthetic form of glutamine, glutamic acid and a 50 : 50 ratio of glutamine : glutamic acid. Chickens fed the control diet presented higher average daily weight gain and better FCR. None of the AID coefficients of amino acids were influenced by the dietary treatments, except glutamic acid and aspartic acid, which were decreased in chicks fed synthetic AAs. In conclusion, 1% glutamine supplementation improved performance, morphometric parameters and AID and AFD values of cationic AAs. The form in which dietary glutamine was provided could affect performance.
Keywords: Amino acid, broiler, digestibility, intestinal morphology