The poultry market has changed due to a higher consumer interest on products with differentiated organoleptic characteristics, making of free-range broiler production a promising activity. This experiment was conducted to determine the digestible lysine requirements of Redbro Cou Nu male and female chickens during the starter phase (one to 21 days of age). Six hundred and thirty Redbro Cou Nu broilers were distributed into 30 pens (21 chickens/pen) according to a randomized complete design in a 5 x 2 factorial arrangement, consisting of five levels of digestible lysine and two sexes, with three replicates (pens) per treatments. Diets with increasing digestible lysine levels (8.1, 9.5, 10.9, 12.3 and 13.7 g of digestible lysine per kg of diet) were offered ad libitum. The following performance traits were evaluated at the end of the experiment (d 21): feed intake, lysine intake, body weight gain, and feed conversion ratio. No interaction between dietary lysine level and sex was observed for the evaluated traits. The effect of sex was only detected on body weight gain, while effects of dietary lysine level were only detected on the feed intake. Males presented higher body weight gain than females. Lysine intake and body weight gain increased, and feed conversion ratio decreased as the level of dietary lysine increased. The best feed conversion ratio was obtained when birds were fed 12.95 g of digestible lysine per kg of diet.
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