Influence of dietary L-carnitine on performance and carcass quality of broiler chickens

M H Rabie, M Szilágyi, T Gippert, E Votisky, D Gerendai
Acta Biologica Hungarica 1997, 48 (2): 241-52
Effects of dietary L-carnitine supplementation on the performance, carcass yield and components, abdominal fat and composition of meat of broiler chickens were investigated. Ross broiler chicks, 18-day-old were used in this experiment. Four experimental diets were formulated, by adding three levels of supplemental L-carnitine (50, 100 or 150 mg/kg) to a basal diet and used from 18 to 46 days of age. Apart from the level of supplementation, L-carnitine (CN) addition resulted in significant increases (P < 0.05) in body weight gains (BWG) of broilers (means were 397 vs. 365 and 410 vs. 377 g, for the first and second weeks of the experimental period, respectively). Abdominal fat (AF) contents of 46-day-old broilers were significantly decreased, both as absolute weights (P < 0.05) and as percentages of body weight (P < 0.01), by added CN (means of AF were 36.8 vs. 44.8 g, equivalent to 1.87 vs. 2.32%). Level of added CN had no effect on BWG or AF of broilers. It was concluded that the effectiveness of supplemental L-carnitine for improving BWG and/or decreasing AF of broilers may depend on the age at which L-carnitine is added. Under the conditions of this study, a supplementation of 50 mg L-carnitine per kg diet proved to be effective.

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