The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of diet composition on performance, slaughter yield and plasma metabolites, as different modern broiler strains show different responses to feed intake. Broilers of two commercial strains and of both sexes received one of three diets being different in energy and/or protein level [control diet, low energy/low protein diet (LM/LP) and low protein diet (LP)]. Low energy/low protein diet chickens were characterized by significantly lower body weights and feed intake compared with their LP and control counterparts. Broilers of the Cobb strain or broilers that were fed the control diet were most efficient in converting energy to body weight. No significant differences in plasma metabolites were detected due to diet composition or genotype. The diet with the lower energy and crude protein levels reached the lowest slaughter yield but the highest drumstick and wing percentages. The lowest mortality percentages were observed for broilers fed the LM/LP diet, and Cobb birds appeared to be more sensitive for metabolic disorders resulting in death. It is obvious from this study that different genotypes respond differently to changes in diet composition and therefore have adjusted nutritional requirements.