1. In experiment 1, growing conventional (CV) chicks were fed on diets containing graded amounts (0, 100, 200 and 300 g/kg diet) of sorbose from 4 to 14 d. Protein, fat and energy deposition were determined after carcase analysis. The values for growth, food efficiency, metabolisable energy (ME) and fat and energy depositions declined as the dietary sorbose content increased. 2. In experiment 2, the performances of germ-free (GF) and CV chicks fed on diets with (100 g sorbose/kg diet) or without sorbose were investigated. On both diets, body weight gain, food consumption and protein accumulation in GF chicks were significantly higher than those in CV birds. No significant differences were observed between the dietary treatment except for ME values, which were significantly lower for the sorbose diet. 3. It is suggested that dietary sorbose decreased energy utilisation, and that the microbial contribution to the utilisation of dietary sorbose was negligible in the chicken.
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