Effect of feed restriction period and strain on growth performance and haematological indices of pullet chicks
An eight weeks restricted feeding trial was conducted to investigate the effect of restricted feeding and strain on the growth performance and haematological parameters of two strains of pullet chicks. Five hundred and forty chicks comprising of Isa Brown (270) and Bovans Nera (270) strains were assigned to six treatments arranged in a 2 x 3 factorial arrangement of Isa Brown and Bovans Nera on ad libitum (R0), skip-a-day (R1) and skip-2-days (R2) restrictions perweek, respectively. Final liveweight and weight gain of pullet chicks reduced (P < 0.05) with increasing level of feed restriction. Chicks on ad libitum showed improved (P<0.05) final liveweight and weight gain. Results showed significant (p<0.05) reduction in feed intake and body weight of chicks due to restricted feeding. The birds maintained on R0 feed restriction group recorded the highest significant (p<0.05) values of final body weight (544.57g), feed intake per day (33.70g/day) and daily weight gain (9.82g/day). R1 birds recorded significantly (p<0.05) higher values of final weight, feed intake and weight gain when compared with R2 birds with final body weight of 480.84g, daily feed intake of 28.42g/day and dailyweight gain of 8.48g.Furthermore,BovansNera pullet chicks recorded significantly higher (p<0.05) final weight and daily weight gain when compared with the Isa Brown birds of same age. The R pullets had significantly higher (p<0.05) white blood cells when compared with the R0 and R1 birds. Heterophil/lymphocyte ratio (0.52) was significantly (p<0.05) lower with the Isa brown birds.