Effect of phase feeding on performance and economy of production of heavy broiler chickens
A high –low – high phase feeding was used to determine the performance and economy of producing heavy broilers (Roasters of 12 weeks of age). One hundred and twenty (120) finisher broiler chickens were selected after brooding and allotted to four experimental units. The feeding trial comprised; a starter phase (0-4 weeks), a grower phase (4-8 weeks) and a finisher phase (8-12 weeks) on broiler finisher rations of varying crude protein levels which represented the treatments. The treatments include; T1 (Control) no restriction – commercial finisher ration 4-12 weeks after brooding. T2 (Four weeks restriction after brooding and 18%crude protein dietre-feeding 8-12 weeks).T3 (Four weeks restriction after brooding and 19% crude protein dietre-feeding (8-12) weeks. T4(Four weeks restriction after brooding and 20% crude protein diet re-feeding 8-12 weeks). Each treatment was replicated three times in a completely randomized design. T2 on 18% CP re-feeding had significant (p<0.05) lower body weight (3.02kg) than the control (3.41kg), whileT3 and T4 groups on 19% and 20% crude protein re-feeding had 3.23 and 3.22kg body weights respectively and did not differ significantly (p>0.05) from the control. Feed intake was significantly (p<0.05) higher for all the restricted groups than the control. Mortality was zero percent for the nutrient restricted groups and 4% for the control. Cost of feed per kilogram weight gain was about 25% higher for the control than the nutrient restricted groups. Extending the growing period of the broiler using a high-low-high phasing of nutrient intake resulted in the production of heavy broilers (roasters) that achieved identical body weight with the control at twelve weeks of age, with lower cost of feed per kilogram gain than the control.
Key words: Heavy broilers, Roasters, Phasing of nutrient intake, Body weight.
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