Evaluation of transgenic event Bt11 hybrid corn in broiler chickens

Poult Sci. 2003 Apr;82(4):551-9. doi: 10.1093/ps/82.4.551.


A feeding study evaluated whether standard broiler diets prepared with grain derived from Syngenta Seeds NK Brand Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Corn hybrids had any adverse effects on male or female broiler chickens. Four kinds of corn grain were used in this study: (1) grain from the Bt-expressing field corn hybrid N7070Bt, (2) grain from the N7070Bt hybrid that had been sprayed with Liberty brand herbicide (glufosinate) according to manufacturer's instructions (N7070Bt + Liberty), (3) grain from standard N7070 (non-Bt isoline of N707OBt) grain, and (4) a lot of North Carolina grown grain from the 2000 growing season (NC2000). The amino acid balance for the four lots of corn was similar relative to their crude protein content; however, the NC2000 corn had higher protein content. Diets with the higher protein NC2000 season corn were amended with a combination of sand, ground cardboard (Solka Floc), and poultry fat so that the metabolizable energy and crude protein content of the diluted diets would be similar to that of the isoline and transgenic diets. Growth of broilers was excellent with males being significantly heavier than females (2,497 g vs. 2,103 g) at 42 d of age. BW of live birds at 42 d was within 26 g for the three treatment groups fed corn that was from the same genetic background, i.e., the two Bt transgenic groups (N7070Bt, N7070Bt + Liberty), and the non-Bt N7070 isoline corn group, while BW for the NC2000 group was significantly lower by 93 g. There was no overall corn source effect on feed conversion ratio (FCR) among the isoline and transgenic corn sources to 42 d of age, but FCR was poorer for broilers consuming the commercial NC2000 corn. There was no overall effect of corn source on survivability to 42 d. Carcass analysis at 48 d demonstrated no differences in percentage carcass yield due to corn source among males and females. The transgenic N7070Bt and N7070Bt + Liberty hybrid diets supported excellent broiler chicken growth with mortality and FCR that were similar to that supported by the N7070 isoline control and better than rates from the commercial NC2000 corn without significant differences among treatment groups in carcass yield. It was clear that the transgenic corn had no deleterious or unintended effects on production traits of broiler chickens in this study.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Chickens / growth & development*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Nutritive Value
  • Pesticides / analysis
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified*
  • Random Allocation
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Survival Analysis
  • Zea mays / chemistry
  • Zea mays / genetics*


  • Pesticides
  • Plant Proteins