Study of possible reduction or withdrawal of vitamin premix during finisher period in floor and battery cage broiler raising systems
The effect of dietary vitamin premix withdrawal or reduction between 29 and 35, 36 and 42, and 29 and 42 days of age on broiler chicken performance and immunocompetence was evaluated. The diets were formulated based on wheat and barley, and the experiment was conducted in floor pens (experiment 1) and battery cage (experiment 2) rearing systems in 7 treatments and 4 replicates for each treatment. The results of experiment 1 showed that vitamin premix reduction and withdrawal at 29 days of age did not impair performance during the final period of broiler chicken (29 to 42 days). The results of experiment 2 showed that there were no significant differences in performance with reduction or withdrawal of vitamin premix from diets in 29 to 35 days, but in 36 to 42 days of age, performance of birds fed with a diet that has no vitamin premix (T1) was significantly lower than other treatments (P < 0.05). The results of the two experiments demonstrated that immunocompetence response was not affected by treatments in the finisher period (P > 0.05). In conclusion, the results of this study indicated that in the battery cage system, it is possible to reduce dietary vitamin premix during finisher period, but withdrawal can negatively affect performance of broiler chickens, while in the floor system, it is possible to withdraw vitamin supplements in broilers’ finisher diets.
Key words: Vitamin premix, reduction, broiler, wheat, immunocompetence.