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Effect of chicken breeder diet on growth of progeny Ping Chuen, Mark Fung

Abstract

Experiments were carried out to determine the effect of breeder diet on the weight of the chick at hatching and up to 4 weeks of age and on the effect of breeder diet and chick diet on body composition of the chick. The dietary treatments imposed were related to protein level and amino acid composition of the breeder diet and the chick diet. Two experiments were carried out in which different sets of dietary comparisons with breeder rations were made. In the first experiment, diets fed to the breeders varied with respect to the source of supplementary protein (soybean meal, herring meal and white fish meal) supplied. The progeny of these breeders showed differences in hatch weight but the differences in weight were no longer statistically significant by the end of the first week after hatching. The breeder diet did not appear to affect the composition of the progeny at hatching or at three weeks of age. In the second experiment the diets fed to the breeders differed markedly in protein level as well as in amino acid composition and in this experiment there were significant treatment effects on the hatch weight of the progeny which persisted until at least four weeks of age. In a third experiment chicks were fed different levels of lysine and the effects on body weight and on weight of the pectoral muscle measured. It was found that the weight of pectoral muscle was more sensitive to dietary lysine level than was total body weight. It was therefore concluded that the ratio of pectoral muscle weight to body weight provides a more sensitive criterion of the lysine adequacy of a chick diet than does body weight. In further study of the effect of the amino acid balance of the breeder diet on embryonic and postnatal growth of progeny the use of this ratio as the criterion of response should be investigated.

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