Publisher: Bachudo Science Co. Ltd

Assessment of Stocking Densities On The Performance, Behaviour and Carcass Characteristics of Broiler Chickens In The Humid Tropics

Samuel. A. Offiong, Emmanuel S. Bamigboye, Olusegun O. Ojebiyi
KEYWORDS: Broiler Chickens, stocking density, vice habits, dressing percentage, Carcass Characteristics

ABSTRACT:

A study was conducted to determine the effect of floor space on the performance,agonistic behaviour and carcass characteristics of broiler chickens raised in a humidtropical environment. A total of three hundred and sixty (360) five weeks oldbroiler chickens were used in the study. Six different stocking densities (treatments)were assessed (0.037m2, 0.056m2,0.074m2, 0.093m2, 0.100m2 and 0.128m2 per bird) with 0.093m2 per bird serving as the control. Results showed that the parameters measured - weight gain, feed consumption, final liveweight, feed conversion ratio, carcass characteristics and mortality were not significantly affectedby treatment. The frequency of vice habits (pecking, threat and chasing) increasedlinearly as stocking density decreased and the frequency of breast blisters, hockburns, and leg weakness increased as stocking density increased. There was significant decrease in the frequency of walking, dust bathing and scratching behaviours as stocking density increased. Birds in the more crowded pens (0.037m2 and 0.056m2 per bird) had low resistance to stress, which resulted in relatively high mortality rates.


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