Effect of Dietary Protein and Energy Levels on Pullet Development

A. S. Hussein, A. H. Cantor, A. J. Pescatore, T. H. Johnson

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    23 Citations (Scopus)


    The effects of protein and energy levels in rearing diets and protein levels in layer diets on pullet development and subsequent layer performance were studied using 576 Single Comb White Leghorn pullets of a commercial strain. Twelve groups of 16 1-d-old chicks were assigned to each of three dietary treatments. All chicks were fed a 19% CP starter diet during Week 1. Respective protein levels in diets fed during Weeks 2 through 6, 7 through 14, and 15 through 18 were 13.5, 15.8, and 18.9% for the increasing protein treatment; 15.8, 15.8, and 15.8% for the constant protein treatment; and 18.9, 15.8, and 13.5% for the decreasing protein treatment. During Weeks 15 through 18, half of the groups in each protein treatment were assigned to a high (3.09 Meal AMEn/kg) or a low (2.78 Mcal AMEn/ kg) energy diet. After 18 wk, half of the pullets within each rearing treatment were fed a layer diet containing 16% CP and 0.34% methionine, whereas the other half were fed a layer diet with 19% CP and 0.40% methionine. Increasing the level of protein fed during Weeks 2 through 6 significantly (P < 0.05) increased body weight and feed intake up to 14 wk of age. High dietary energy increased weight gain and decreased feed intake during Weeks 15 through 18. Mortality and days to 50% egg production, as well as egg production, feed intake, feed conversion, and egg weight during the first 16 wk following photostimulation were not affected by rearing dietary treatments. Egg weight, but not other production parameters, was significantly increased by raising CP in the layer diet from 16 to 19%.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)973-978
    Number of pages6
    JournalPoultry science
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 1996


    • Egg production
    • Energy
    • Protein
    • Pullet growth

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Animal Science and Zoology


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