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Nutritional and environmental effects on broiler uniformity

  • R.M. GOUS (a1)
Abstract

Poor uniformity in a broiler operation reduces revenue and increases waste. Uniformity in body weight at harvest is influenced by variation in genotype, environment and feed composition and form. Variation in growth in broilers within each sex is usually relatively small, but increases markedly when a poor quality feed is given. In attempting to grow to meet their potential when fed a diet low in protein, birds need to overconsume energy and then release excessive amounts of heat to the environment, although this ability is constrained by both feather cover and the ability to fatten. Consequently, as broiler genotypes have become faster growing and leaner, there is an increased need to feed higher levels of balanced protein in a cooler environment as a means of improving uniformity. Separating the sexes and reducing the range in day-old body weights will assist in achieving better uniformity at harvest.

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Corresponding author: gous@ukzn.ac.za
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This manuscript was published in the Proceedings of 20th European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition, 24-27 August 2015, Prague, Czech Republic

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