Lysine maize (Zea mays), LY038, was developed through the application of modern biotechnology to accumulate free Lys in the germ portion of maize grain and provide an alternative to direct addition of supplemental Lys to poultry diets. Maize LY038 x MON 810 was produced by conventional breeding of LY038 with MON 810, which provides the corn plant protection against feeding damage from the European corn borer. A 42-d broiler feeding study (10 pens of 10 male Cobb x Cobb 500 broilers/treatment) was conducted to compare the feeding value of grain from LY038 or LY038 x MON 810 to that of a conventional control (similar genetic background to the test maize) and 5 conventional maize hybrids. The LY038 and LY038 x MON 810 maize-based diets and control and conventional reference maize-based diets supplemented with l-Lys HCl were formulated to a Lys level below that required for optimal bird performance, whereas all other essential amino acids were present at levels, relative to Lys, above those required for optimal bird performance [1.05% and 0.90% total Lys (as-fed) for d 0 to 21 and d 21 to 42, respectively]. Total Lys level in control and reference maize-based diets without supplemental l-Lys HCl was formulated to be 0.079% lower than supplemented diets. Weight gain, feed efficiency, and carcass yield and composition of broilers fed diets containing LY038 or LY038 x MON 810 were not different (P > 0.05) from that of broilers fed l-Lys HCl-supplemented diets and were superior (P < or = 0.05) to that of broilers fed conventional maize diets without supplemental l-Lys HCl. Both broiler performance and carcass data demonstrate that the bioefficacy of the incremental Lys in LY038 or LY038 x MON 810 grain was not different from that of Lys in conventional maize diets supplemented with l-Lys HCl. Thus, LY038 and LY038 x MON 810 can be considered as wholesome as and more nutritious than conventional maize due to its higher-than-average Lys content.