Tributyrin is a butyrate glyceride, shown to have positive effects on broiler performance. This study investigated the differences in growth performance between Ross 308 and Ross 708 birds, and compared how each strain responds to tributyrin supplementation. Two-hundred-and-forty-day-old Ross 308 and 240-d-old Ross 708 chicks were divided and fed a basal diet, or diets supplemented with low or high levels of tributyrin for 35 d. Neither strain nor tributyrin supplementation had an effect on average daily gain or feed:gain (P > 0.05). All Ross 708 birds had significantly decreased relative abdominal fat weight at 3 and 5 wk of age compared with Ross 308 birds of the same treatment (P ≤ 0.05). Tributyrin supplementation only decreased relative abdominal fat weight compared with controls in Ross 708 birds at 5 wk of age (P ≤ 0.05). Ross 708 control birds had significantly higher breast muscle fat deposition than Ross 308 controls (P ≤ 0.05), and tributyrin lowered this deposition in both strains (P ≤ 0.05). Significant differences in hepatic expression of genes associated with lipid metabolism were observed between strains, and with tributyrin supplementation (P ≤ 0.05). These results support the modulation of lipid metabolism by tributyrin, and show different broiler strains responded uniquely to tributyrin supplementation.
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