Male broiler performance and nocturnal feeding under constant 8-h or 16-h photoperiods, and various increasing lighting regimens
South African Journal of Animal Sciences
Animal and Poultry Science, School of Agricultural Sciences and Agribusiness, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville 3209, South Africa
This paper describes the responses of two genotypes of male broilers to constant 8- and 16-h photoperiods, and to an abrupt transfer from 8 to 16 h at 10, 15 or 20 d. Body weight, feed intake, and feed conversion efficiency were not significantly different at any stage during the 35 d study. Mortality and the incidence of Sudden Death Syndrome were similar for all lighting groups at 35 d. When these data were pooled with previously reported data for female broilers, growth and feed conversion efficiency post 21 d and through to depletion for constant 8-h and birds transferred from 8 to 16 h at 20 d were significantly superior to constant 16-h birds. Constant 8-h birds ate about half their feed during the dark period, whilst 16-h birds consumed no more than 10%. Birds which had been started on 8 h and transferred to 16 h at 10, 15 or 20 d reduced their rate of nocturnal feeding when changed to the longer photoperiod, however, they still consumed more feed in the 8-h dark period than birds that had always been given 16 h illumination. Cobb and Ross genotypes responded similarly to all lighting treatments. © South African Society for Animal Science.