Effect of altering the starter and finisher dietary phases on growth performance of broilers
The current study was conducted to determine the effect of altering a starter and finisher diets of a three-phase commercial feeding program on growth performance and feed conversion efficiency (FCE) of broilers in a small-scale production system. A total of 2400 unsexed day-old chicks of commercial strain (Cobb 500) were housed in an open-sided house and randomly allocated to the following three treatments. Body weight (BW) and feed intake (FI) were recorded weekly starting from weeks 3 to 5. The BW, FI and the FCE were computed for each week. At week 5, the broilers on T2 were heavier (P<0.05) than T1 and T3 birds and T1 birds were heavier (P<0.05) than T3 birds. Treatment effects (P<0.05) were observed on FI and BW at some stage of growth, as well as on FCE at all the stages of growth. It was concluded that altering dietary starter phases promised optimum production in birds fed starter diets, 0 to 15 days with feed cost per kilogram being better compared to birds fed starter diets, 0 to 18 days and starter diets, 0 to 21days.
Key words: Feeding programmes, feed intake, body weight, feed conversion efficiency, profitability.