Journal of Animal Health and Production

Research Article
J. Anim. Health Prod. 2 (4): 60 - 64
http://dx.doi.org/10.14737/journal.jahp/2014/2.4.60.64
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Abel FA Silas1, Adeyemi Olajide Ayorinde2, Eruvbetine Daisy2, Sogunle Olajide Mark2, Oluwole Oluwatoyin Bolanle1, Elemo Gloria Nwakaegho1
1Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi. (FIIRO) Animal House, Food Tech Department; 2Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State (FUNAAB), Animal Production and Health Department.
*Corresponding author: silasabel@ymail.com; silas.abel@fiiro.gov.ng

ABSTRACT
The study was conducted to investigate the effect of different stocking densities and quantitative feeding regimens on starting broiler chicks. A total of one hundred and sixty two (162) Marshall strain chicks having average initial weight of 44.23g at day old were randomly distributed and used for the trials. The treatments under stocking densities were D1 (0.25m2/bird), D2 (0.17m2/bird) and D3 (0.13m2/bird) while under the quantitative feeding regimen were 0% feeding restriction (F1), 15% feed restriction (F2) and 30% feed restriction (F3). All were replicated three times making a total of 27 observations and randomly distributed into a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement in a completely randomized design. The growth performance, economic cost, nutrient digestibility and haematological characteristics were measured, data obtained were subjected to one way analysis of variance. Results showed that stocking density had no significant effect (p>0.05) on the daily feed intake and the body weight gain. The body weight gain decreased with increasing stocking density from 20.53g in D1 to 19.25g in D2. The best feed conversion ratio (FCR) value of 3.05 was recorded in D3 compared to 3.20 recorded in D2. Stocking density had no effect on the dry matter digestibility, crude protein digestibility, crude fibre digestibility and ether extract digestibility (p>0.05). The stocking density however had an effect (p < 0.05) on the haematological parameters like red blood cell (RBC), mean cell volume, mean cell haemoglobin concentration, blood glucose and blood corticosterone levels. The blood cholesterol was significantly highest in D1 (94.28mG/dl) compared to the lowest value of 88.17mG/dl in D3. Stocking density had no significant effect on the cost of feed per kg weight gain. The quantitative feed restriction significantly decreased both the daily feed intake and weight gain. A lower daily weight gain of 16.40g in F3 compared to 22.95g in F1. A better FCR value was recorded in the restricted groups compared to the F1. Birds in F3 recorded a marginally better digestibility coefficient when compared to F1 and F2 respectively. The packed cell volume and RBC was significantly lower in feed restricted birds compared to F1 but the white blood cells were significantly highest in F3 than in F1 and F2. The blood glucose and cholesterol level was significantly highest in F1 than F2 and F3 birds. The heterophil: lymphocyte ratio (H: L) was significantly highest in F3 than in F1 and F2 respectively. Feed restricted birds (F2 and F3) had significantly (p < 0.05) lower cost of feed intake/ bird (N5.32 and N6.15, respectively) compared to N7.64 in F1 birds. Also, the cost of feed/kg weight gain was significantly lowest in F3 at N317.20 compared to N334.53 in F1. It was concluded that that birds in D3 and F3 had the best FCR and a better digestibility coefficient though higher haematological values were recorded in the D1 and F1 compared to other treatments. Birds in F3 had lower haematological profiles and reduced costs of production per bird due to the quantitative feed restriction.

Key Words: Stocking density, Feed efficiency, Digestibility, Feed restriction, Haematological, Marshall strain