Influence of day-old chick weight and gender separate rearing on performance of broilers
PREET MOHINDER SINGH AND S.S. NAGRA
Department of Livestock Production and Management
Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana - 141 004
Two experiments were simultaneously conducted, one on male and another on female chicks from 0 to 35 days of age on deep litter system, to study the influence of day-old chicks weight (DCW) and separate sex rearing on their growth performance. Experiment 1 involved 144, day-old male chicks divided into 8 groups of 18 nos. each. Two groups each represented low (L), medium (M), high (H) and mixed (LMH). The mixed group contained 6 chicks each representing L, M and H and acted as control for this experiment. Similarly, 144-day-old female chicks were divided into 8 groups. Two groups of 18 chicks each contained 3 birds each from L, M and H both from males and females representing common control group for both the experiments. Maize-soybean meal – groundnut meal based starter and finisher ration containing 22.5% CP, 2870 Kcal ME/kg and 22.0% CP, 2905 Kcal ME/kg, respectively, were fed to all the chicks. The weekly data were recorded on body weight, weight gain, feed intake, FCR and PER. No significant differences in the body weight and FCR among L, M and H DCW male chicks were recorded but all these groups had significantly (P<0.05) better performance than LMH male group. However, L DCW females gained significantly (P<0.05) less weight than M and H DCW chicks. The grouping of chicks on DCW resulted in an increase of 9.37% body weight over the LMH group in male chicks but no such improvement was observed in the female chicks. The FCR improved by 4.81% and 2% respectively, in males and females over their respective control groups due to weight separation on DCW basis. The flock uniformity was increased to above 90 % in the male chicks grouped on DCW basis against only 61% in the LMH group. Separately reared males achieved 9.82% higher body weight than females. Irrespective of DCW males gained 5.87% higher and females gained 3.73% lower weight than the straight runs. It was concluded that separate sex rearing and segregation of male chicks on day-old body weight basis was a good management tool for improving the growth performance and flock uniformity.