Comparison of the Growth Performance of Three Commercial Hybrid Chicken Varieties Using Grain Based Feeds
Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International,
In poultry, feed costs represent a major part of total production costs. Accordingly, improvement of feed conversion ratio; feed intake: weight gain should be a major objective in most breeding programmes. Growth performance of three commercial broiler hybrids in Nigeria were investigated using a total of 60 unsexed day old chicks consisting of 15 each of Rhode Island White, Plymouth Rock and Rhode Island Red; and 15 of the purebred, the Nigerian Southern light ecotype used as control. The breeds were maintained separately in wooden cages of dimension 120cm × 80cm × 40cm at stocking density of 15 birds per m2 and fed for six weeks using broiler starter feed for first four weeks and finisher feed for next two weeks. The broiler starter feed was composed of broiler concentrate (energy Keauka) 2950Kcal, crude protein 2.1%, crude fibre 4.0%, calcium 1.0%, Available phosphorus 0.48%, cysine 1.2% and methionine 0.5%. The finisher’s diet consisted of 1:1.8 mixtures of broiler concentrate and maize meal. No medication was provided during the study. The result showed Rhode Island White had highest maximum weight gain (2874.43% initial weight), Plymouth Rock (1053.14% initial weight) intermediate and Rhode Island Red (986.12% initial weight) lowest. The pure breed weight gain (441.50% initial weight) was lower than the hybrids. Average feed conversion ratio was highest for Rhode Island White (0.394±0.0047), intermediate for Plymouth Rock (0.373± 0.0051) and Rhode Island Red (0.366± 0.0048) next. The difference was significant (P< 0.05). The purebred had the lowest feed conversion ratio (0.346± 0.0047). Rhode Island Red had the lowest mortality (0%), Rhode Island White (6.67%) intermediate and Plymouth Rock next (20%). The purebred had the highest mortality (33.33%). The study showed Rhode Island White was the most economically viable breed due to its higher growth rate, feed conversion ratio and low mortality rate.
- Chicken varieties
- growth and grain based feed
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