JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

The effect of supplemental glutamine on growth performance, development of the gastrointestinal tract, and humoral immune response of broilers

S M Bartell, A B Batal
Poultry Science 2007, 86 (9): 1940-7
17704382
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of supplemental Gln on growth performance, development of the gastrointestinal tract, and humoral immune response of broilers. Immediately after hatch 6 replicate pens of 6 chicks were randomly assigned to 1 of 7 (experiment 1) or 5 (experiment 2) dietary treatments for 21 d. On d 4, 7, 14, and 21, twelve chicks per treatment (2 chicks/pen) were killed for thymus, spleen, bursa, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, bile, and blood sample collections and weights. In experiment 1, the effect of 1 or 4% Gln addition to the feed, water, or both was compared with a corn-soybean meal (SBM) control diet. All diets were formulated to be isocaloric and isonitrogenous. Weight gain improved significantly (P < 0.05) when chicks were fed diets with 1% Gln as compared with chicks fed the control diet (11% average improvement). The addition of 4% Gln to the diet or water depressed (P < 0.05) growth performance. Based on the results from experiment 1, 1% Gln supplementation to the diet was determined to be ample and most practical. Thus in experiment 2, diets supplemented with 1% Gln were fed for 4, 7, 14, or 21 d after which time chicks were fed the corn-SBM control diet until the experiment was terminated at 21 d. Weight gain improved significantly (P < 0.05) when chicks were fed diets supplemented with 1% Gln throughout the 21-d study. In both experiments, chicks fed diets supplemented with 1% Gln for 21 d had higher concentrations of bile, intestinal, and sera IgA and sera IgG (P < 0.05). Chicks fed diets with 1% Gln had heavier intestinal relative weights and longer intestinal villi (P < 0.05) as compared with the chicks fed the corn-SBM diet. Our results indicate that the addition of 1% Gln to the diet of broiler chicks improves growth performance and may stimulate development of the gastrointestinal tract and humoral immune response.

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