Performance and External Egg Quality of Layers under Varying Stocking Density in Locally Fabricated Metal-Type Battery Cage System
Study determined the performance and external egg quality of layers in locally fabricated metal-type battery cage at different stocking density. One hundred and forty four point of lay harco black strain birds were randomly divided into 3 treatments stocked 2, 3 and 4birds per cell. The result showed insignificant (P>0.05) difference with final weight of the birds but body weight gain and feed intake varied significantly (P<0.05). Birds stocked at 2/cell gained 15g/birds in weight while birds stocked 3 and 4 per cell lost 75g/bird and 125g/bird, respectively. Birds stocked at 2 and 4/cell recorded similar (P>0.05) feed intake, 114.00 and 112.50g/bird/day, respectively while those stocked at 3/cell recorded significantly (P<0.05) low feed intake (103.89g/bird/day). o significant (P>0.05) variation was obtained with egg length, egg breadth and egg weight across treatments. However, birds stocked 2/cell had highest significant (P<0.05) ESI and HDP (0.77 and 76.60%, respectively) while birds stocked 4/cell had least ESI (0.74) and HDP (68.15%). Hen house production decreased significantly (P<0.05) with increasing stocking density from 76.60% to 68.15% in the cage type. The study concluded that stocking density of layers in locally fabricated metal-type battery cage had significant effect on weight gain, feed intake, and hen house production of layers and layers stocked 3/cell gave the optimum ESI and HDP.
Keywords: Metal-type battery cage, stocking density, growth performance, egg quality
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