Effect of Post-hatch Nutrient Intubation on Performance, Intestinal Growth, Meat Yield and Immune Response in Broiler Chickens

  • Bhanja, S.K. (Project Directorate on Poultry) ;
  • Anjali Devi, C. (Project Directorate on Poultry) ;
  • Panda, A.K. (Project Directorate on Poultry) ;
  • Sunder, G.Shyam (Project Directorate on Poultry)
  • Received : 2009.07.25
  • Accepted : 2009.09.14
  • Published : 2010.04.01


The response of broiler chicks to intubation of nutrients (starch, casein, soybean oil or their combinations) into the crop immediately after hatch was evaluated for performance, intestinal development, meat yield and immune competence up to 35 d of age. A control group with no access to feed and two test groups fed either inert material (sawdust) or starter diet for the initial 24 h after hatch were compared with nutrient intubated groups (n = 7). A total of 300 broiler chicks were equally distributed to 10 dietary groups with 6 replicates of 5 chicks each. After 24 h of hatch, all groups were fed ad libitum the starter (0-21 d) and finisher diets (22-35 d). Results indicated that post-hatch intubation of starch into the crop significantly (p${\leq}$0.05) improved body weight (at 14 and 35 d of age), readyto-cook meat yields, weights of breast muscle and small intestine segments, cell-mediated immune response, ND titers and weight of bursa compared to chicks starved or fed sawdust during the initial 24 h after hatch. However, chicks with access to feed immediately after hatch or intubation of starch, soybean oil, starch+casein, starch+soybean oil or starch+casein+soybean oil exhibited similar positive effects. Intubation of casein either alone or in combination with soybean oil was superior to the starved or sawdust fed groups, but inferior to other groups for all the parameters studied. It was concluded from the study that intubation of starch individually or in combination with casein and/or soybean oil effectively circumvented the negative effects of post-hatch starvation for 24 h. Among the nutrients intubated, carbohydrate (starch) was better utilized by the chicks than protein (casein) or fat during the initial post-hatch period.


Post-hatch Nutrient Intubation;Performance;Intestinal Growth;Meat Yield;Immune Response;Broiler Chickens


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