Investigations of leg abnormalities in chicks consuming high tannin sorghum grain diets.

R. G. Elkin, W. R. Featherston, J. C. Rogler

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Studies were conducted into the etiology of leg abnormalities noted in chicks fed high tannin sorghum grain diets. These anomalies were characterized by a bowing of the legs with a swelling of the hock joints. The incidence of these leg problems was found to be markedly higher when the amino acids in the diet provided by soybean meal were replaced by crystalline amino acids. Supplemental vitamins and minerals had no alleviating effect on the leg problem. Bone mineralization was apparently not influenced by tannins as demonstrated by similar bone ash values for chicks fed high or low tannin sorghums. A possible alteration caused by tannin in the organic matrix of bone is discussed. High tannin sorghum depressed chick growth and feed conversion when compared with low tannin sorghum in both sorghum-soybean meal and sorghum-amino acid rations. This growth depression was overcome by supplementing the high tannin sorghum-soybean meal diet with .15% DL-methionine, but no growth response was observed from a similar supplementation of a high tannin sorghum-amino acid diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-762
Number of pages6
JournalPoultry science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1978

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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