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Cockerel Production-A Profitable Enterprise

S.V. Rama Rao & N.K. Prabaraj
Project Directorate on Poultry, Hyderabad .

As a normal practice the male chicks of laying type birds (Cockerels) are being killed by most of the hatchery managers. Instead of killing these male chicks, they can be economi­cally reared up to 12-14 weeks of age, to attain body weight of 800 to 900 gm. Which is mostly acceptable for preparation of tandoori chicken? In general a grower diet of low energy and protein (2700 KCal and 16% CP respectively) is offered to cockerels for maintenance. But to economize on the cost of cockerel production an experiment was conducted to obtain desired body weight and also to estimate the protein and energy efficiency by offering high energy and high protein diet.

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Materials and Methods

Six hundred White Leghorn male chicks of six weeks age were equally divided into two groups. Again each group was divided into six replicates of 50 birds in each, which were maintained in a brooder pen of 5 1/2' x 6 1/2'.

One group maintained as control was fed with the ISI specified grower diet (16% CP and 2700 KCal ME/Kg) and the other group was fed with diet containing 18% CP and 2895 KCal. Both the groups were maintained up to 14 weeks of age. Ad labium feeding and watering was carried out throughout the experimental period.

Before formulating the ration, proximate composition of each feed ingredient was analyzed according to standard analytical procedures. Dietary composition of the two rations are presented in Table-1

Composition of Diet

Yellow Maize   440   62.0  
DORB   35.0   11.5  
Whole Fish   6.0   7.0  
Soybean   12.5   17.0  
Min Max With Salt   2.5   2.5 
ME(KCal/Kg)  2569   2895 
CP (%)  16.3  18.1 

Body weight gain, feed consumption, feed, conversion efficiency, economics of feeding, protein and energy consumption and efficiency were calculated at the end of the experiment.

Results & Discussion

The performance of experimental stock feed control and test diets are presented in Table-2. Birds fed high protein and energy diet attained more body weight (173g) compared to the control group. Total feed intake was slightly higher in treated group compared to control group however, the better feed efficiency was obtained in treated group over the control, because of higher body weight gain. Economics calculated in terms of the cost of feed required to produce one Kg live weight gain; indicated that rearing the cockerels on high energy and high protein diet is less expensive compared to rearing on usual grower diet. The higher body weight gain in treated group may be due [o consumption of more protein and energy (392.08g and 6267.68 KC at respectively) than the control group (327.14g and 5155.98 KCal). The protein and energy efficiency were also superior in terms of body weight gain in treated group compared to controls. ^This indicated that cockerels may have the higher potential to convert the protein and energy into body mass when offered them in higher quantity compared to usual grower mash.

Table-11 Performance of the Cockerels

  Control  Treated 
Body weight gain (gm per bird)  512  685 
Feed intake (gm per bird)  2007  2165 
Feed Efficiency (gm Feed/gm Wt. gain)  3.92  3.16 
4. Cost of Feed required to produce one kg live weight gain (Rs.)   18.38  15.20 
Protein consumption (gm per bird)  327.14  352.08 
Energy consumption (Kcal /ME per bird)  5155.98  6267.68 
Protein Efficiency  1.565  1.747 
Energy Efficiency  0.099  0.109 


Instead of either killing the day old male chicks of layers or growing them on low energy protein diet, it is more economical to rear them on high protein and high energy diet.