M.Sc. in Agriculture in Animal Science
Department of Livestock & Pasture Science
University of Fort Hare
THE EFFECT OF QUANTITATIVE FEED RESTRICTION DURATION ON GROWTH PERFORMANCE AND CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS OF BROILER CHICKENS.
A total of 144 day-old broiler chicks were reared in a deep litter system until slaughter at 42 days. Chicks were randomly allocated to three treatments; the control (T1), one week of feed restriction (T2), and two weeks of feed restriction (T3). Three broiler houses with uniform conditions were sub-divided into three compartments each. The birds were randomly allocated to each of the nine compartments. Each treatment was replicated three times with 16 birds per compartment being fed as a group and each bird was regarded as the experimental units. Birds were fed with starter, grower and finisher diets. The average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and the feed conversion ratio (FCR) were computed for each chick each week. The body weight gained by the birds in TRT 1 (control) was similar as the birds that were restricted for a week. The treatments had a significant effect on the average daily gain in week 4, 5 and 6. The ADG for TRT2 was higher at week 5 after 1 week of restriction, than TRT1 and 3. The feed conversion ratio was significantly higher in TRT3 after 2 weeks of restriction. In TRT 2 and 3, feed intake was significantly lower than in birds fed ad libitum at week 4 at the start of the treatment. There was no significant effect on the relative weights of heart weights, liver, gizzard, feets and heads among the treatment groups except for intestine weight which was lower in TRT 1 than TRT 2 and 3.