Beak Amputation Effects on Performance and Egg Quality Characteristics of Native Layers (Yacon) Chickens
Beak amputation, egg-type chickens
An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of beak amputation on performance and egg quality characteristics of egg-type chickens. A total of 132 native layers (Yacon) chickens were obtained from a commercial hatchery for the study. There were four treatments in which upper and lower beaks were amputated at the age of 13 weeks, using different dimensions. Upper and lower beaks were not amputated in treatment 1 (U0L0), 8mm of upper beak was amputated in treatment 2 (U8L0), 8mm of upper beak and 3mm of lower beak were amputated in treatment 3 (U8L3) while 8mm of upper beak and 6mm of lower beak were amputated in treatment 4 (U8L6). Beak amputation depressed body weight gain and feed intake. Birds with intact beak (control) had the highest body weight gain and feed intake values of 9.74 and 86.98g/bird/day, respectively. Results obtained on pecking rate were statistically significant (P<0.05). Expectedly, pecking rate was lower in amputated pullets compared with what obtained in birds with intact beak. Rate of re-growth of upper and lower beaks was slower in treatment 3 compared with other treatments. Most of the parameters measured for egg quality traits were in favour of amputated pullet chicks. However, highest hen-day production of 69.06% was recorded for birds with intact beak while the lowest value of 56.02% was obtained in treatment 4 within the laying period of two months. This management practice had no adverse effect on performance and egg quality characteristics of native layers (Yacon) chickens.