The effecacy of pre-starter on the perfomance of Ross 308 broiler chicken.

Author: Sibanda, Terrance

Progress in genetics and management has allowed the poultry industry to produce heavier chickens in a more efficient manner. However, many farmers fail to achieve breeder specified standards and are constantly faced with relatively lower performance. The most logical approach to addressing this low performance has been to work on improving the nutrient allocative efficiency of broiler feed. Focusing on nutrition of the chicks in the first week is important as this period represents 20% of the broilers growth. Provision of well formulated pre-starter diets should propel growth of the chicks in a favorable direction and result in improved performance. An experiment was carried to evaluate efficacy of using a pre-starter feed in improving broiler performance. The performance of a quad-phase feed, (Feed B: pre-starter. Starter, grower and finisher) was compared to that of a tri-phase (Feed A: starter, grower and finisher). The performance parameters looked at were live weight, feed intake, Feed Conversion Efficiency (FCR) and mortality. 150 unsexed Ross 308 broiler chicks were allotted randomly to 3 runs, 50 birds in each run. In each run the birds were divided into 2 partitions for the different treatments (Feed A and Feed B). The experiment was terminated at week 5 when birds fed Feed A which also served as a control had reached weights of 1.8kg.Results showed that there was a significant difference in the effect of treatment on live weights (P=0.038) in the first week showing the prestarter had performed marginally better than the starter. In week 5 a significak difference in the effect of treatment on live weights was seenity.