The effect of feed restriction on performance of broilers
C. NIRMALA, S.C. EDWIN AND K. VISWANATHAN
Centre of Advanced Studies in Poultry Science,
VeterinaryCollege and Research Institute, Namakkal
An experiment was conducted in commercial broilers to study the effect of different levels of feed restriction with respect to production performance, carcass characteristics and serum and meat cholesterol levels. The treatment groups consisted of T1 (ad libitum feeding), T2, T3 and T4 (10, 20 and 30 per cent feed restriction to ad libitum feeding from 8 to 14 days of age respectively), T5, T6 and T7 (10, 20 and 30 per cent feed restriction to ad libitum feeding from 15 to 21 days of age respectively). Before and after the period of feed restriction all the birds were fed with ad libitum throughout the experimental period. The feed restriction either in male, female or combined sex broilers during second and third week of age by 10, 20 and 30 per cent to that of ad libitum control feeding did not affect the final seventh week body weight. The male broilers attained early compensatory growth compared to females. The seventh week body weight, cumulative feed consumption and feed efficiency did not differ significantly between treatments.
Hundred per cent livability was recorded in female broilers up to seventh week of age both in feed restricted groups and in ad libitum fed control group; such livability was recorded in male and combined sex broilers up to fifth week of age. However, during sixth and seventh week, the mortalities were recorded only in ad libitum fed control group but not in feed restricted groups. Feed restriction at different levels had no significant effect on carcass characteristics. The abdominal fat pad thickness of female and combined sex broilers was significantly lower (P<0.01) in early feed restricted groups than ad libitum fed control group. In general, the abdominal fat deposition is lowered by early feed restriction in broilers. The serum and meat total cholesterol were not significantly influenced by feed restriction among the treatment groups either in male, female or combined sex broilers at 7 th week of age. The broilers with 20 per cent feed restriction during 8-14 days of age fetched the highest net profit per bird (Rs.10.08) and the highest net profit per kg live weight (Rs.4.57).