Early posthatch satellite cell (SC) mitotic activity is a critical component of muscle development and growth. Satellite cells are stem cells that can be induced by nutrition to follow other cellular developmental pathways. The objective of the current study was to determine the effect of restricting protein synthesis on the proliferation and differentiation of SC, using variable concentrations of Met and Cys to modulate protein synthesis. Broiler pectoralis major SC were cultured and treated with 1 of 6 different Met/Cys concentrations: 60/192, 30/96 (control), 7.5/24, 3/9.6, 1/3.2, or 0/0 mg/L. The effect of Met/Cys concentration on SC proliferation and differentiation was measured, and myonuclear accretion was measured by counting the number of nuclei per myotube during differentiation. The 30/96 mg/L Met/Cys treatment resulted in the highest rate of proliferation compared with all other treatments by 72 h of proliferation (P < 0.05). Differentiation was measured with Met/Cys treatments only during proliferation and the cultures receiving normal differentiation medium (R/N), normal proliferation medium and differentiation medium with variable Met/Cys (N/R), or both proliferation and differentiation receiving variable Met/Cys treatments (R/R). Differentiation responded in a dose-dependent manner to Met/Cys concentration under all 3 of these treatment regimens, with a degree of recovery in the R/N regimen cells following reinstatement of the control medium. Reductions in both proliferation and differentiation were more pronounced as Met/Cys concentrations were further reduced, whereas increased differentiation was observed under the increased Met/Cys concentration treatment when applied during differentiation in the N/R and R/R regimens. The number of nuclei per myotube was significantly decreased in the severely Met/Cys restricted treatments (P < 0.05). These data demonstrate the sensitivity of pectoralis major SC to nutritional availability and the importance of optimal nutrition during both proliferation and differentiation for maximizing SC activity, which will affect subsequent muscle mass accretion.