Effect of dietary protein content on episodic growth hormone secretion and on heat production of male broiler chickens.
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1. The effect of the crude protein content (200 and 150 g/kg) of isoenergetic diets on episodic growth hormone (GH) release and on heat production was investigated in male broiler chickens. 2. Decreasing the crude protein content of isoenergetic diets from 200 g/kg (HP diet) to 150 g/kg (LP diet) resulted in depressed body weight gain, impaired food conversion efficiency and increased abdominal fat deposition. 3. The pattern of growth hormone secretion was markedly affected by dietary treatment. Broiler chickens fed on the LP diet had higher overall mean, amplitude, baseline and peak frequency than the HP chickens. 4. The LP chickens produced more heat per unit of metabolic body weight than the HP chickens. 5. The hypothesis relating the pattern of GH secretion to protein conversion efficiency was corroborated.