The effect of Methionine supplementation on broiler chickens fed a low-protein diet

Thai researchers tested the use of methionine as a dietary supplement for broiler chickens that were given a low-crude protein diet during Days 11-24 after hatching before switching to a diet with low metabolic energy for the next 18 days. They reported that the supplement improved the health of poultry animals that followed either diet.

The study was sponsored by Kasetsart University, and the results were published in the journal Animal Production Science.

  • Four groups of 400 recently hatched chickens were given different diets. The control group received a normal diet from Days 11-42 after hatching; the low-crude protein group was given animal feed deficient in crude protein from Days 11-24 before switching to a normal diet.
  • The methionine-supplemented group received the amino acid supplement in addition to the low-crude protein food. Finally, the low-metabolic group started on a low-crude protein diet and were given food that did not have much nutrients to metabolize during Days 25-42.
  • The chickens in the control group demonstrated the greatest growth performance during the first phase of feeding. On the other hand, the methionine-supplemented group had healthier body weight, feed conversion, and protein conversion ratios.
  • Animals in the low-metabolic group outperformed the control group in terms of growth performance, protein conversion, and energy conversion during the re-feeding phase (Days 25-52).
  • The control group had lower levels of non-esterified fatty acid and higher levels of unhealthy lipids like triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and total cholesterols.

They concluded that the health of broiler chickens could be improved through supplementation with methionine, especially if taken with low-protein diets.

To find out more about the benefits of methionine as a food supplement for chickens, visit

Journal Reference:

Jariyahatthakij P, Chomtee B, Poeikhampha T, Loongyai W, Bunchasak C. METHIONINE SUPPLEMENTATION OF LOW-PROTEIN DIET AND SUBSEQUENT FEEDING OF LOW-ENERGY DIET ON THE PERFORMANCE AND BLOOD CHEMICAL PROFILE OF BROILER CHICKENS. Animal Production Science. 18 January 2017;58(5):878–885. DOI: 10.1071/an16258

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