Chicks were given diets containing varying amounts of dietary acetic acid (0, 12.7, 25.4, 38.1, 50.8, and 63.5 g/kg diet) under ad libitum feeding in Experiment 1 and under equalized feeding (average feed intake of Experiment 1) conditions in Experiment 2. In Experiment 1, values for body weight gain (g/10 days), feed intake (g/10 days), fat retention (g/10 days), and energy retention (kJ/10 days) were linearly lower as dietary acetic acid was increased. In Experiment 2, values for body weight gain, protein retention, and fat retention (grams/10 days), and for energy retention (kiloJoules/10 days) were changed curvilinearly. These values tended to increase until diets contained 25.4 g acetic acid/kg diet and then decreased significantly when diets contained 50.8 g acetic acid/kg diet. All chicks given the 63.5-g acetic acid/kg diet died during Experiment 2. Dietary acetic acid had a detrimental rather than a beneficial effect on chick performance, particularly at the high level.
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