The protein content of the feed can be reduced when synthetic amino acids are used, and they are routinely used in feed for commercial egg layers. Five amino acids are commercially available. A daily intake of 15 grams of protein is suggested for the commercial egg layer. However, a lower level is used in the commercial industry when the feed is formulated to meet the hen's amino acid requirement. Supplemental methionine has been used routinely since the early 1960s.
Considerably less research has been conducted with the broiler breeder hen than with the egg layer. Therefore, the NRC recommends that the breeder feed contain 19.5% protein. Prior to 1977, the National Research Council suggested requirements be expressed as a percentage of the diet. However, in 1977, they suggested a daily intake based on a feed consumption of 100 grams per day.
In 1978, a program was developed to formulate a feed to meet the daily requirements of the laying hen. Recommendations were for a daily intake of 610 mg of sulfur amino acids and 730 mg of lysine. These researchers conducted many experiments on the energy and amino acid requirements of the commercial egg layer, and they developed a new formula for calculating the percentage of each amino acid needed for each flock of hens.
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