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Compensatory growth in the broiler chicken: a review

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2007

A.K. Zubair
Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada
S. Leeson
Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada
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The phenomenon of compensatory growth in broiler chickens subjected to early life undernutrition is reviewed. Increased interest in this concept is attributed to problems associated with early life fast growth rate, especially in broilers fed ad libitum. These problems include high body fat deposition, and a high incidence of skeletal and metabolic disorders. Factors that influence compensatory growth in the broiler chicken include the nature, severity and duration of undernutrition, as well as the age at the commencement of undernutrition and the degree and pattern of realimentation. Many studies have reported improvement in feed efficiency during compensatory growth in restricted-refed broilers. Broiler chickens undergoing compensatory growth also exhibit greater than normal feed intake relative to body weight and some associated digestive adaptation. The use of this concept to address problems associated with early life fast growth rate requires more studies of the nutrition of the broiler chicken during the period of growth compensation.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1996

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