|Abstract or Summary
- Today's consumers have shown a greater concern in the relationship between dietary fat and human health. The demand for leaner meat is continuously on the rise. The reduction of fat deposits in the abdominal area of ready-to-cook fryers, considered a waste product in the poultry industry, has become a major opportunity for the researcher.
Experiments were conducted to evaluate the merit of managerial practices affecting abdominal fat (AF) levels in broiler chickens. Factors studied included seasons of the year, source of the commercial broiler strain crosses, stocking densities, lighting systems, types of housing, dietary salt (NaCl) 1eve1s and feed restriction.
Two housing types (open-sided and windowless) and different seasons were utilized to evaluate the influence on broiler performance and AF levels. Raising broilers from the same strain cross in an open-sided building did not affect performance and AF levels. Mean body weight (BW) were highest
in fall season (1929 g ) and lowest in summer (1735 g) (p<.05) while highest and lowest % AF revels were observed in spring and winter (2.34, and 1.42 respectively).
The comparative effect of feeding regime, (full feed, FF), 95 and 90% FF), dietary salt 1evels (0, 0.25, and 0.5% of the finisher diet), stocking densities (0.06, 0.07, and 0.09 m² of floor space per bird) and type of housing (battery cages and litter pens) were examined on broiler performance and AF lever. Ninety % FF resulted in significantly lower body weights and AF levers compared to ad libitum feeding. At 49 days of age, mean BW of broilers fed 0.5% salt were higher (P<.05) than the group not provided with salt. Altering stocking densities and rearing in battery cages failed to show any significant improvements performance and % AF.
Lighting regime 12 h light (L): 12 h dark (D), recycled during the rearing period resulted in lower (p<.05) mean BW than continuous lighting regime (CL) when applied from 5 days of age. Broilers raised on 16L:8D after 21 days had comparable performance to CL. Lighting regime of 12L:12D, recycled in combination with increasing stocking densities from 0. 06 to 0.8 m² floor space/broiler and intermittent righting of lL:3D in combination with the addition of 0.5% salt to the diet resulted in improved (P<.05) BW with no corresponding increases in AF levels.
Factors such as season of the year, feeding of salt, and manipulation of light (up to 8 h dark) can be used as tools in reducing % AF and overall production costs.