ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 89 Number 4
Research Papers
Influence of body weight ranges on growth and diurnal periods on duration of selected activities of broiler birds under Tropical conditions. (252)
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The influence of body weight ranges on growth and diurnal periods on duration of feeding, drinking and resting of broiler chickens were studied over a period of nine (9) weeks using duration of 7.00 – 10.00 h (period 1) and 17.0 – 20.0 h (period 2). Body weight ranges of birds used were 150 – 350 g for low body weight (LBW), 351 – 500 g for medium body weight (MBW), 501 – 700 g for the high body weight (HBW) and 150 – 700 g for the pooled body weight (PBW). The final body weights (g) versus (vs) body weight gains (g/d) for the body weight ranges were 150 vs 1.14 (LBW), 180 vs 2.54 (MBW), 203 vs 4.16 (HBW) and 200 vs 4.76 (PBW). Average feed intake (g/b) vs feed conversion ratio (FCR) obtained among the four body weight ranges were 19.4 vs 0.60 (LBW), 19.0 vs 0.13 (MBW), 15.0 vs 0.28 (HBW) and 19.6 vs 0.24 (PBW). Expectedly, body weight ranges significantly (P<0.05) affected the evaluated parameters (body weights, body weight gains and feed intake) of the birds at all ages, revealing that group rearing of birds have significant effects on their growth parameters. Birds on HBW group were more superior in feed utilization than others probably due to better feed digestion for easy absorption and utilization, thus the faster growth rate. For period 1, the highest feeding, drinking and resting durations for the different body weight ranges were 824±7.48s (HBW), 317±0.43s (MBW) and 551±3.84s (HBW) respectively. Diurnal periods significantly (P<0.01) affected resting duration while they had no effect (P>0.05) on feeding and drinking duration in the tropics. Body weight ranges had significant (P<0.05) effects on feeding and resting durations. Birds with higher body weights feed, drink and rest more than the smaller birds in relation to their body weight ranges within the tropical climates. Group rearing of birds resulted in wide variation in growth parameters between small and bigger birds. Broiler tends to feed more in the evening (period 2), drink and rest more in the morning (period 1) of the day in the tropics.
Keywords: Climatic conditions, economic traits, poultry, tropics