Effects of Feed Restriction on Production Performance and Carcass Characteristics of Koekoek Chickens in Ethiopia

Document Type: Original Paper


1 Department of Animal Production, College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa University, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia

2 Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia


This study was conducted to examine the effects of feed restriction on production performance as well as traits relating to egg and carcass yield in Potchefstroom Koekoek dual purpose chicken bred under Ethiopian conditions. A total of 240 one-day-old dual purpose Koekoek chicks were randomly distributed into 12 experimental pens, representing 4 feeding treatments to evaluate the performance of chicks on body weight and age at onset of laying eggs (AOLE), egg quality, and carcass parameters. Treatments were control (unrestricted feed), R7-28 (restricted feed at 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25 and 28 days of age), R35-56 (restricted feed at 35, 38, 41, 44, 47, 50, 53 and 56 days of age) and R63-84 (restricted feed at 63, 66, 69, 72, 75, 78, 81 and 84 days of age) groups. The results showed a significant difference between the control and R63-84 group's birds in both daily and total feed consumption (P < 0.05). There was a significant (P < 0.05) difference in body weight at the end of the starter period, where R63-84 group's birds had a heavier body weight and body weight gain than R7-28 and R35-56 groups' birds, but not control birds. Yolk diameter was significantly lower in R35-56 group than R7-28 and R63-84 groups (P < 0.05). Feed restriction also did not affect slaughter and dressed weight, but the eviscerated weight was significantly lower in R35-56 and R63-84 groups than control (P < 0.05). Feed restriction was associated with production costs of the treatments, and the feeding regime of R63-84 group significantly decreased the amount of feed consumed by birds (P < 0.05). Thus, feed restriction during 63 to 84 days of age (R63-84 group) can be useful because of improving the production profitability of rearing chicks without affecting the AOLE, body weight at AOLE, egg weight, and carcass parameters.


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