Effect of wet feeding on growth performance of broiler chickens in a hot climate
Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University for Development Studies, PO Box TL1882, Tamale, Ghana
1. The Guinea Savanna in the tropics is characterised by high diurnal temperatures, often beyond the thermo-neutral zone of modern poultry, which imposes heat stress on them. 2. An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of partially (12 h wet mash in the day and 12 h dry mash in the night) or wholly (24 h) feeding wet mash on the growth performance of broiler chickens. 3. Three treatments: dry mash (control), wet mash (day) + dry mash (night) and wet mash (day+night) were tested. At 28 d of age, a total of 120 broiler chickens (Hybro, Netherlands) were randomly divided, using a completely randomised design, into 12 groups of 10 birds, each with mean live weight of approximately 800 g/bird. A maize-soybean based grower mash (200 g CP/kg and 12·5 MJ/kg ME) was fed. The wet mash was prepared daily by addition of 1·3 parts of water to 1 part of dry mash and fed from 28 to 56 d of age. The birds were housed in raised-floor pens. Feed and water were given ad libitum and light provided 24 h. Mean daily room temperature was 28-29°C in the morning and 35-41°C in the afternoon. 4. Mean feed intake of birds fed the wet mash (174 g/day) or wet + dry mash (166 g/day) was higher than that of birds fed the dry mash (152 g/day). Mean live weight gain of birds fed the wet mash (64 g/day) or wet + dry mash (64 g/day) was higher than that of birds fed the dry mash (58 g/day). There were no differences in gain/feed ratios (0·38-0·39) of any of the treatments, neither were there any differences between the feeding of wet mash partly or wholly for all variables. 5. It was concluded that wet feeding, particularly during day-time, had the potential to improve growth performance of broiler chickens in a hot climate. © 2011 British Poultry Science Ltd.
water; animal; animal food; article; chicken; eating; evaluation; Ghana; growth, development and aging; maize; metabolism; physiological stress; soybean; tropic climate; weight gain; Animal Feed; Animals; Chickens; Eating; Ghana; Soybeans; Stress, Physiological; Tropical Climate; Water; Weight Gain; Zea mays; Aves; Gallus gallus; Glycine max; Zea mays; Aves; Gallus gallus; Glycine max; Zea mays