Effect of Feed Restriction on Compensatory Growth and Broiler Chicks Performance
128 Unsexed broiler chicks (Ross 308) were used to assess the effect of restricted feeding on compensatory growth and performance of broiler chicks. Four experimental treatments (32 chicks/treatment), consisting of 4 levels of feed restriction were applied using standard broiler starter diet formulated according to the recommended nutrient composition of starter diets. All the experimental chicks were fed starter diet ad-libitum for an adaptation period from three weeks of age. The control group was fed Ad-libitum throughout the experimental period, while the other groups were restricted to 80, 70, or 60% of the Ad-libitum consumption of the control group of birds in the previous day. Feed restriction of the respective groups of birds continued for two weeks followed by Ad-libitum refeeding for two weeks again. The results indicated a significant (P<0.01) reduction in body weight of the restricted birds compared to the control birds, during the feed restriction period. This was followed by a marked compensatory growth during the realimentation period, and at the end of the experiment all the restrictedly fed birds attained the same slaughter weight of the control group. Also the results indicated that no significant difference (P>0.05) in the fat pad weight and viscera weight among the feed restricted birds and the birds that fed ad-libitum.
Feed Restriction, Compensatory Growth, Broiler
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