Threonine For Poultry

In poultry production, it’s important to understand the utilization of amino acids and other nutrients for maintenance, growth, and other functions in the body.  Some nutrients can be synthesized by the animal, however, some of them need to be provided in the diet because animals are not able to synthesize it. Threonine, for example, is an essential amino acid that poultry cannot synthesize. In fact, it is considered the third limiting amino acid in corn-soybean meal diets for poultry.

A recent article highlighted the crucial role of threonine on intestinal immunity of broilers and how sufficient levels of threonine help with the transport of antibodies and other molecules. Antibodies and immunoglobulins, which are in fact proteins, are boosted by supplying threonine in the diet. The function of threonine is important to protect the animal from viruses and keeping the balance within body cells for better functioning.

Considering that threonine is an essential amino acid, we need to include it in the diet in balance with other amino acids, that means that we should select high quality ingredients. For example, soybeans are processed to deactivate antinutrients, but the quality of the soybean meal is variable depending on the method of processing. High-shear dry extruded ExPress® soy meal is an excellent source of digestible threonine as shown in the graph below.

Ileal digestibility of Threonine

Ileal digestibility of threonine in broilers fed ExPress® or Solvent extracted soybean meal

When compared to solvent extracted soybean meal, digestibility of threonine in broilers fed ExPress® soymeal is superior (2% more), as demonstrated in a feeding trial conducted at the University of Illinois in 2016. The advantage of ExPress® over solvent extracted soymeal allows proper diet formulation with less synthetic amino acids, which decreases feeding costs.

Overall, the take home message is clear, ExPress® soymeal is available to provide highly digestible threonine for broilers which can be used for intestinal immunity and to promote growth, among other functions.

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