Young Bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) were fed low and adequate protein purified diets with and without excess methionine to evaluate factors affecting methionine toxicity. Growth of quail fed an adequate protein (27%) diet, without supplemental glycine, was depressed by 1.75% and 2.25% excess methionine. Supplemental glycine (.3%) alleviated growth depression caused by 2.25% excess methionine. Quail fed 1.75% and 2.25% excess methionine developed signs of toxicity characterized by weakness, a lowered, outstretched neck when moving, and ataxia. In addition, quail would fall on their sides when disturbed and spin with their heads retracted. These conditions were transient in nature. Growth of quail fed a low protein (18.9%) diet was depressed by 1% and 1.5% excess methionine and DL-homocystine. Quail fed 1% and 1.5% excess methionine in this diet also developed signs of toxicity, the incidence of which was greater and the duration longer than occurred with quail fed adequate protein. Supplementing a low protein (20.15%) diet with .3% or .6% glycine or threonine or a combination of these amino acids did not alleviate growth depression caused by 1.5% excess methionine; however, 2% and 3% supplemental glycine were somewhat effective. Supplements of glycine (2%, 3%) and threonine (1%) completely reversed growth depression from 1% excess methionine but did not influence growth of controls, indicating that both amino acids counteract methionine toxicity. Both glycine and threonine alone improved growth by about the same extent in diets with 1% or 1.5% excess methionine; however, these amino acids alleviated less than 30% of the growth depression resulting from 1.5% excess methionine. The effectiveness of glycine in alleviating methionine toxicity in a low protein diet was decreased, and hemoglobin levels were depressed with 1.5% excess methionine compared to less amounts.
Additional publication details
Factors influencing methionine toxicity in young bobwhite quail