1. The effect of the gut flora on chick growth and protein and energy utilisation at a marginal dietary energy level (calculated metabolisable energy value 11.7 MJ/kg) was determined with diets containing 227 or 293 g protein/kg. 2. Germ-free (GF) and conventional (CV) chicks were reared for 10 d on the diets, and excreta were collected during the last 4 d. The chicks were killed and carcases and droppings were analysed for N and fat. 3. The GF chicks grew significantly faster than the CV controls on both diets. The growth of CV chicks given the high protein diet was similar to that of GF chicks given the adequate protein diet. 4. Protein and energy utilisation were significantly less for CV than for GF chicks on both diets. 5. It was concluded that the energy requirement of CV chicks was greater than that of their GF counterparts, and that their poorer growth was due to utilisation of some dietary protein as an energy source.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology