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Performance, Economics of Production and Carcass Characteristics of Broilers Exposed to Levels of Late Restricted Feeding in the Humid Tropics
A study was conducted to ascertain the performance, economics of production and carcass characteristics of broilers exposed to different levels of restricted feeding in a humid tropical environment. Four (4) dietary feed restriction treatments: T0- full or ad libitum fed - control, T75%, T50% and T25% of full or ad libitum feeding were utilized. A total of one hundred and twenty (120) birds were randomly assigned to the dietary treatments consisting of thirty (30) birds per treatment. Each treatment was replicated three (3) times of ten (10) birds per replicate in a completely randomized design (CRD) for four (4) weeks. Results of the study revealed significant (P < 0.05) differences in the performance, economics of production and carcass characteristic among the broiler chickens in all treatment groups. The T0 (full fed - control) or ad libitum treatment group of broilers exhibited superior terminal live weights, weight gains and feed intake as well as carcass characteristics, but a poor feed conversion ratio (FCR) . In contrast, the T75% treatment group of broilers exhibited better a FCR, while the T25% group recorded higher mortality. Although the T0 (full fed - control) or ad libitum treatment group of broilers recorded superior values in some performance parameters, the T75% treatment group portrayed better economic benefits in terms of reduced cost of feeding per weight gain, commensurate revenue generation, gross margin and cost – benefit ratio as compared to the T0, T50% and T25%treatment groups. Hence for better economic efficiency of broiler production and adoption of feed restriction regimen, it is recommended that the late feed restriction procedure involving the 75% of full – fed (T75%) regimen should be adopted by poultry farmers during broiler production.