1. An empirical model of exponential form was developed, different versions of which can be used to predict growth rate, feed conversion and carcase and breast meat yield of broiler chickens as a function of dietary balanced protein ( DBP) content. The model was developed to support decision- making by nutritionists. The model helps in determining DBP contents that maximise profit. 2. The model avoids the practical disadvantages of existing methods. In contrast with mechanistic models, only data that are generally known by broiler nutritionists are required as input. Compared with predictions derived from one or a few feeding trials, the model predictions are more accurate ( because the model was derived from many data- sets) and more flexible ( because a description of the type of broiler was included as input for the model). 3. Broiler response studies from the literature and the Nutreco Poultry and Rabbit Research Centre ( 27 data- sets in total) were used in the model development to select significant variables, to quantify the parameters and to evaluate the accuracy of the predictions. 4. Input variables were DBP content, maximum performance level, age, year ( indicating genetic potential) and sex. The model, including the assumption that the shape of the dose - response curves to DBP content is independent of broiler and feed characteristics, gave an accurate simulation of growth rate, feed conversion and breast meat for nearly all data- sets. Effects of DBP content on carcase yield were relatively small, except for carcases without skin and skin fat.
- amino-acid levels