Restriction of Metabolizable Energy in Broiler Growers and Its Impact on Grower and Breeder Performance

  • Sunder, G. Skyam (Project Directorate on Poultry) ;
  • Kumar, Ch. Vijaya (Project Directorate on Poultry) ;
  • Panda, A.K. (Project Directorate on Poultry) ;
  • Raju, M.V.L.N. (Project Directorate on Poultry) ;
  • Rao, S.V. Rama (Project Directorate on Poultry) ;
  • Gopinath, N.C.S. (Project Directorate on Poultry) ;
  • Reddy, M.R. (Project Directorate on Poultry)
  • Received : 2006.11.01
  • Accepted : 2007.04.03
  • Published : 2007.08.01


Metabolizable energy (ME) required for basal metabolism, activity and growth was considered as the criterion for targeting specific increases in body weight (100 g/week) of broiler chicks during the grower phase (5-20 weeks) and its impact was evaluated on breeder performance. Broiler female chicks (460) from a synthetic dam line were randomly distributed to 4 test groups with 23 replicates of 5 birds each and housed in cages. The first group (ME-100) was offered a calculated amount of ME by providing a measured quantity of grower diet (160 g protein and 2,600 kcal ME/kg) which increased with age and weight gain (133-294 kcal/bird/day). The other three groups were offered 10 or 20% less ME (ME-90 and ME-80, respectively) and 10% excess ME (ME-110) over the control group (ME-100). From 21 weeks of age, a single breeder diet (170 g protein and 2,600 kcal ME/kg) was uniformly fed to all groups and the impact of grower ME restriction on breeder performance evaluated up to 58 weeks. The targeted body weight gain of 1,600 g in a 16-week period was achieved by pullets of the ME-100 group almost one week earlier by gaining 8.7 g more weight per week. However, pullets in the ME-90 group gained 1,571 g during the same period, which was closer to the targeted weight. At 20 weeks of age, the conversion efficiency of feed (5.21-5.37), ME (13.9-14.1 kcal/g weight gain) and protein (0.847-0.871 g/g weight gain), eviscerated meat yield, giblet and tibia weights were not influenced by ME restriction, but the weights of abdominal fat and liver were higher with increased ME intake. Reduction of ME by 10% in the grower period significantly delayed sexual maturity (169.3 d), but increased egg production (152.5 /bird) with better persistency. Improved conversion efficiency of feed, ME and protein per g egg content were also observed in this group up to 56 weeks. The fertility and hatchability at 58 weeks of age were higher in the ME-90 group compared to the control and 10% excess ME feeding. In conclusion, the present study revealed the possibility of achieving targeted weight gain in broiler growers by feeding measured quantities of ME during the rearing period with consequential benefits in breeder performance.


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