Background and Objectives
Driven by the need to preserve important animal genetic resource and meet the increased consumer interest for the flavor, texture and health value of its meat, there has been the development and increased research on the 5 lines of Korean Native Chicken (KNC). However, there is scanty details on the effects of mixed and separate sex feeding on KNC. The present study evaluated the effects of mixed and separate gender feeding on the growth performance and carcass traits of two lines of KNC denoted as KNA and KNB when compared to a white semi-broiler (WSB) and commercial broiler (CB).
Materials and Methods
A total of 576 one-day-old chicks were randomly allotted to 72 cages with 18 replicates per treatment with 8 birds per cage and subjected to the same feeding and environmental conditions over a 5week period. 288 KNC (KNA and KNB), 144 WSB and 144 CB were used. Within the KNA and KNB, three groups of males only (MO), females only (FO) and then male + female (FM) were used. Corn-soybean meal basal diet as per the Korean Feeding Standards for starter (1-3wks) and grower (3-5wk) diets was provided together with water ad-libitum. Body weight, feed consumed, and shank length were measured weekly while the carcass traits (empty BW, drumstick and breast meat) were measured after slaughter. Using the collected BW and feed consumed data, average daily feed intake (ADFI), average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion ratios (FCR) were calculated. Data was analyzed using the one-way ANOVA technique at P < 0.05
In an inter-breed comparison, the commercial broiler (CB) had the highest values for body weight, ADG, ADFI, empty BW, drumstick and breast meat weights with desirable longer shank lengths and lower FCR values (P < 0.05) of around 1.54 that shows better feed efficiency. CB was followed by the WSB and finally the KNC. In an intra-breed comparison for KNC, the males showed better growth performance and longer shank lengths (P < 0.05) but with lower values for the carcass traits evaluated. The mixed group (FM) showed better growth performance than the FO group. Besides the FM group had the highest values for carcass traits when compared with the MO and FO for both lines.
Gender and the effects of mixed and separate gender feeding influenced the growth performance, carcass traits, feed efficiency and the overall production efficiency for the Korean Native Chicken.
Key words: mixed and separate sex feeding, growth performance, carcass traits, native chicken.