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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Alleviation of hysteria in laying hens with dietary tryptophan.

A commercial layer breeder flock that was suffering from hysteria was fed a diet containing 5 grams tryptophan/kg for six days. The incidence of episodes of hysteria declined from five times/hour on day 0 to once/hour on day 6 and none on day 8. Feed consumption increased from 107 g to 145 g/hen/day and egg production increased 23% during the six day feeding period. The tryptophan concentration in plasma doubled (from 95.6 to 188.2 mumol/mL). Plasma phenylalanine and tyrosine also increased. Birds that were not in lay, by postmortem examination, had significantly higher plasma valine concentrations (476.4 vs 372.7 mumol/mL). Tryptophan, serotonin and related metabolites increased in both the hypothalamic region and the remainder of the brain following tryptophan feeding, and subsequently declined. High levels of dietary tryptophan may be useful in alleviating hysteria in poultry.[1]


  1. Alleviation of hysteria in laying hens with dietary tryptophan. Laycock, S.R., Ball, R.O. Can. J. Vet. Res. (1990) [Pubmed]
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