The influence of population density and duration of breeding on broiler chickens productivity and profitability
Keywords: Population density (birds per m2), duration of fattening, profitability, poultry welfare, broilers
AbstractFattening of broiler chickens is a very specific production process characterized by intensive production principles, rapid increase in broilers, small consumption of food/kg of gain (feed conversion ratio) and a large production of broilers’ meat per square meter of surface. In order to increase the profitability of this production, the intention of farmers is to reduce the duration of production as well as to increase population density, with the aim of increasing the production of broiler chickens’ meat,
calculated per unit of surface (m2). However, most of the countries in the world, in order to protect and preserve the welfare of poultry, limit the maximum of broilers’ meat production by regulations and standards. These researches aim to determine the optimal density and duration of fattening in a way to achieve the best production results and the profitability of fattening the broiler chickens hybrids Cobb 500 in temperate continental climate, while preserving the welfare of poultry. From six different population densities (16.84, 16.33, 14.29, 12.75, 14.80 and 15.46 birds per m2) and fattening period between 37 and 40 days, the best production and economic performance showed that a group of
chickens that was fattened in a period of 40 days had a population density of about 16 birds per m2. This group of broilers produced the most meat per m2 (about 33 kg), the welfare of poultry is maintained and the standard was not exceeded, so we can say that the best economy and profitability of fattening broiler chickens in the concerned region is achieved. In other groups of chickens, profitability could be more advantageous if the increased population density goes up to 16 birds per
m2; or the duration of fattening could be extended up to 40 days and by this way the welfare of poultry would not be violated.
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