ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 76 Number 1
Effect of environmental temperature on growth performance and nutrient utilization in growing guineakeets (Numida meleagris). (74)
Three hundred and fifty-six day-old guineakeets (Numida meleagris) were utilized to study the comparative performance and nutrient utilization of guineakeets kept in similar dietary regimes up to 12 weeks of age in two distinct seasons, viz., hot-humid (maximum temperature 33.0 ± 0.58 to 37.7 ± 0.38 and minimum temperature 26.7 ± 0.50 to 28.6 ± 0.37°C) and cool (maximum temperature 23.2 ± 0.04 to 35.9 ± 0.41 and minimum temperature 12.2 ± 0.38 to 27.3 ± 0.75°C). The results indicated that the live weight of birds at any growth phase was higher (P < 0.01) in the hot-humid season than in the winter. Feed intake during the first four weeks of age were higher in the hot-humid season, but decreased significantly thereafter in comparison to the cool season. Feed conversion efficiency was found to be better (P < 0.01) in the hot-humid season than in the cool season. Energy intake per unit metabolic body size was more and birds consumed more protein per unit gain in the cool season. Retention of N and metabolizability of gross energy were less (P < 0.01) in the cool season. Plasma protein levels did not differ but uric acid concentration was higher in the cool season. Mortality rate was 22.6 and 17.7% in the hot-humid and cool season, respectively. It was concluded that the guineakeets utilized nutrients more efficiently in the hot-humid than in the cool season.
Keywords: Guineakeet; Environmental temperature; Growth; Nutrient utilization; Carcass traits; Plasma protein; Uric acid