Effects of nutrient density and photoperiod on the performance and abdominal fat of broilers
International Journal of Poultry Science
Department of Agriculture, Benson Idahosa University, P. M. B. 1100, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria; Department of Animal Production,University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria
The study investigated the effects of photoperiod and nutrient density on the performance and abdominal fat of broilers. Treatments consisted of a factorial arrangement of two diets containing 3200kcal/kg ME and 23% Protein and 2800kcal/kg ME and 18% Protein administered to broilers under either 12hour light per day, 8hour light per day or 6 hour light per day for 8 weeks. Results at market age showed that no significant interactions existed between nutrient density and photoperiod for feed intake, body weight gain and feed gain ratio (P > 0.05, P > 0.01). Also no significant interactions existed between factors for protein retention, fat utilization, available fibre, abdominal fat and cost to benefit ratio (P > 0.05, P > 0.01). Broilers subjected to low nutrient density diets experienced reduction in body weight gain and poorer feed to gain ratio (P < 0.05, P < 0.01). There was significant reduction in feed intake and abdominal fat of broilers exposed to only 6 hours of light per day as against the usual 12 hours of light per day (p < 0.05, p < 0.01). It was concluded that no meaningful interactions existed between nutrient density and photoperiod with respect to broilers performance. However, reducing photoperiod to 6 hours per day could be used as a tool for reducing abdominal fat hence, reducing sudden death syndrome and upgrading carcass quality of broilers. © Asian Network for Scientific Information, 2005.