1Department of Animal Science, Khorasgan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran /Young Researchers and EliteClub,KhorasganBranch,Is lamicAzadUniversity,Isfahan,Iran
2Isfahan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center, Isfahan, Iran
3Department of Animal Science, Khorasgan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran
4Young Researchers and Elite Club, Khorasgan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran
Receive Date: 03 March 2013,
Revise Date: 29 June 2013,
Accept Date: 01 July 2013
The current study was conducted to evaluate effects of sequential or wet feeding programs subsequent to and early meal feeding regime on performance, carcass characteristics and humoral immunity in broiler chicks. 192 Ross 308 chicks (seven-day old) were allocated to four treatments at four replicates (12 chicks per plot) based on a Completely Randomized Design. Treatments were included: control group (C) where birds had free access to feed throughout the experiment, meal fed groups (MF) where birds were meal fed from 7 to 14 d and subsequently meal fed by the control diet (MFC), meal fed a wet diet (MFW) or subjected to a sequential feeding program (MFS) until day 42. The results showed a statistical reduction of feed intake and increased feed conversion ratio during the meal feeding period (P<0.05). Consequently, meal fed chicks had a depressed body weight at 14 d, which was later, compensated (P<0.05). Following meal feeding, birds in the meal fed a wet diet (MFW) group exhibited the highest body weight, but the sequential fed group had significantly (P<0.05) lower feed intake, body weight andfeed conversion ratio(FCR) compared to the other groups. The highest relative weight of small intestine and the lowest abdominal fat pad percentage were observed in the MFS group (P<0.05). Birds' antibody responses to Newcastle, Influenza viruses and sheep red blood cell were not influenced by feeding regimes. It is concluded that feeding a wet diet following meal feeding programs can be effectively used in broiler chicken production.
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