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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Essential amino acids in northern bobwhite foods
Year: 1994
Author(s): Peoples, A. D., Lochmiller, R. L., Leslie, Jr., D. M., Boren, J. C., Engle, D. M.
Source Title: Journal of Wildlife Management
Source Type: Journal
pages: 167-175
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Frequent population declines, high dietary requirements for protein, and the low quality of proteins in agricultural grains led us to hypothesize that essential amino acid (EAA) deficiencies were common in northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) foods. We analyzed amino acid concentrations of 21 northern bobwhite foods and compared them with dietary requirements to derive values that reflected the foods’ ability to meet daily bobwhite requirements of 10 EEAs. Despite adequate concentrations of crude protein, deficiencies of EAAs were detected in seeds of all species analyzed. Legumes offered the best mix of EAA, and grasses the poorest. Deficiencies of EEAs relative to maintenance requirements of adults ranged from 13% in legumes to 98% in grasses. About a third of the total nitrogen pool was composed of nonprotein nitrogen with values ranging from 25% for queensdelight stillingia (Stillingia sylvatica) to 44% for redroot amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus). Computed biological values (ratio of EEA concentrations in seed protein to respective amounts in whole egg protein) ranged from 69 (netleaf hackberry Celtis reticulata) to 93 (erect dayflower Commelina erecta and woolly croton Croton capitatus). Amino acid profiles indicate forage quality better than crude protein estimates.