Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 52
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52 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1953
of broilers, ranging from 3 to 10 percent in some experiments, was
obtained. The best growth occurred when the methionine was fed
in the presence of fishmeal or fish solubles. Inasmuch as both fishmeal
and fish solubles contain considerable methionine, apparently the free
amino acid is needed for some particular reaction inside the body of
the bird. The feather score of New Hampshire chicks given feedgrade
methionine under field conditions, was improved approximately
25 percent by the addition of 1 pound of the amino acid per ton of
In a 10-week broiler trial at the Maryland station, the addition of
0.05 percent DL-methionine (synthetic dextro-levo-methionine) to
the ration increased the return over feed cost by $26.88 per 1,000
broilers marketed, estimating broilers at 27 cents per pound, basal
ration at 5 cents per pound, and DL-methionine at $3 per pound.
Research with turkeys at the Texas and Utah stations has resulted
in better feathering, increased growth, and high efficiency of feed
utilization through the supplementation of the feed with methionine.
In fact, at the Texas station, the addition of 1 pound of methionine to
a ton of an all-vegetable-protein ration, adequate in vitamins, minerals,
and amino acids to meet the poults' requirements, gave 10 to 34
percent increases in weight. Moreover, a growth response of from 8
to 14 percent occurred on such a ration supplemented with both an
antibiotic and methionine above that on the ration with only the antibiotic
added. At the Nebraska station, on the other hand, the addition
of 0.5 percent of feed-grade DL-methionine to a basal feed
mixture containing meat scraps, fishmeal, and soybean meal, gave no
significant improvement in the rate of growth of poults, but did
improve the efficiency of feed utilization.
Tolerance to brackish water
At the present time, little use is made of land in Hawaii where the
salinity of the water is high. Therefore, the Hawaii station has
conducted experiments to determine the tolerance of New Hampshire
cockerels and pullets from 6 to 12 weeks of age to various concentrations
of brackish water ranging from only 4.4 grains of salt per gallon
(tap water) to as high as 400 grains per gallon. The standard ration
fed contained 0.5 percent of salt (NaC1). The production of the hens
at 27 weeks of age ranged from 61.3 percent on the 4.4 grains per
gallon to 69.2 percent on the 400 grains per gallon. There was no
adverse effect on feed consumption, body weight, or survival. A
marked increase in consumption of brackish water by both males and
females occurred as the salt concentration increased. However, the
salt content of the brackish water consumed by the pullets biweekly,
when expressed as the percentage of feed consumed, did not exceed
2.9 percent of the diet during any period of measurement. These
results indicate that chickens can be raised safely anywhere in the
Hawaiian Islands. Thus, it will be possible for commercial poultrymen
to move to areas where water is brackish (up to 100 grains of salt
per gallon of water) when their leases expire.
The prevention of encephalomalacia
Nutritional encephalomalacia, or "crazy chick" disorder, was first
noticed in the late 1920's at the Indiana station when 3 percent of cod
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/54/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.