ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 79 Number 3
Compensatory growth in broiler chickens on full feeding following exposure to selected durations of feed deprivation. (191)
Two experiments were conducted to illustrate compensatory growth responses in broiler chickens following exposure to selected durations of feed deprivation. In Experiment 1, 280 three-week-old straight-run broiler chickens were randomly divided into five equal groups each of two replicates containing 28 birds, with a mean initial body weight of 436.0 g. Four such groups were subjected to 2, 4, 6, and 8 h of feed deprivation daily for two weeks before returning them to ad libitum feeding for three weeks before terminating the experiment. One such group served as the control. In Experiment 2, 380 four-week-old broilers were similarly divided into five treatment groups each with an average body weight of 610.0 g. The birds were subjected to similar feed restriction modalities but for a duration of one week, before returning them to ad libitum feeding for three weeks when the experiment ended. Data were collected on body weight at the end of deprivation and at the end of the experiment. Results in Experiment 1 showed that the percentage weight gain declined progressively as the severity of deprivation increased. But at the end of the experiment after ad libitum feeding, there was progressive increase in the percentage of weight gain as the severity of deprivation increased, which showed evidence of compensatory growth. The more severely the broilers were deprived before returning them to full feeding, the more evidence of compensatory growth they exhibited in Experiment 1. The 8-h deprived group recorded similar per cent weight gain as the control, but each of the other deprived groups recorded a higher per cent weight gain than the control in Experiment 2.
Keywords: Broiler chickens; Feed deprivation modalities; Growth depression; Re-feeding ad libitum; Compensatory growth responses