The following technical article is related to the event:
XXII Latin American Poultry Congress 2011

Post-hatch supplements in broiler chicks

Evaluation of placement time and the administration of post-hatch supplements in broiler chicks

Published on: 12/28/2011
Author/s :
Summary

A 2 x 2 x 2 factorial study was carried out with the aim of evaluating the effects of feeding different hatchling supplements (HS) on live performance, and carcass yield of broiler chickens up to 42 days. One thousand two hundred and eighty one-day-old male Cobb-500 broilers, with two different weights at hatch (<44 g and >more than 49 g) were used. For 24 or 48h prior to placement, the chicks received two different HS (8/16: 8% crude protein and 16% carbohydrates; 10/20: 10% crude protein and 20% carbohydrates). The animals were then placed in 32 floor pens, totalizing 8 treatments with 4 replications of 40 birds each. All data was analyzed using SAS’s GLM procedures, and significance was measured at p<0.05 using Tukey’s multiple range test, to determine differences between treatment means. Overall, the heavier birds presented decreased villus height and increased crypt depth, whereas no significant differences were observed on performance or on carcass yield. No significant differences could be detected among the performance variables and carcass yield of broilers.

Key Words: Carcass yield, Hatchling supplement, Performance, Pre-starter diet, Hatch weight.

Introduction

For broilers to have a good development and express their full genetic potential, placing them as soon as possible in the house after hatch, as to prevent a negative quality impact is extremely important. According to Uni and Ferket (2004), poor chick quality can cost the poultry industry nearly US$200 million.  Even though It is known that the hatch-to-housing interval can impact broiler quality, typically chicks remain unfed for up to 72 hours after hatch.

An extended hatch-to-placement interval can, in addition, have an even stronger negative effect when the chicks come from light weight eggs or from younger breeders. Light weight chicks are more prone to problems in the first week of life when exposed to extended fasting periods, due to the fact that they have lesser yolk sac reserves than heavier chicks at placement.

One of the alternatives adopted in an attempt to reduce the negative impact of post-hatch fast is the administration of supplements, ore even using electrolyte solutions in the pre- and post-placement period. This way, the purpose of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of placement time and the administration of post-hatch supplements in broiler chicks with different hatch weights, on the productive performance and carcass yield at 42 days of age.

Materials and Methods

One thousand two hundred and eighty (1,280) male Cobb® broilers from the same 48-week-old breeder flock. The chicks were placed in the experimental farm, College of Veterinary medicine and Animal Husbandry, USP, Pirassununga Campus, SP, Brazil, and distributed under a completely-at-random design with a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial arrangement (2 hatch weights: 44 and 49 g; 2 post-hatch supplements: one supplement containing 8% crude protein [CP] and 16% carbohydrates , and another supplement containing 10% CP and 20% carbohydrates; 2 supplementation periods: 24 and 48 hours prior to housing), for a total of 8 treatments with con 4 repetitions of 40 birds each. The birds were grown for 42 days and they received feed and water ad libitum. Performance data consisted of weighing at 1, 7, 21 and 42 days of age, feed intake (FI) weight gain (WG), and feed conversion rate (FCR). For carcass evaluation, 3 birds per repetition were killed, and the weight of edible offal, abdominal fat, bone-on/skinless breast, wings and back. The post-hatch supplements were formulated in such a way as to provide pre-determined amounts of CP and carbohydrates. Ten (10) grams of the supplement were given /bird/day, divided in 2 daily administrations. The experimental diets were formulated with corn and soybean meal, as per the levels recommended by Rostagno et al. (2005). Data was analyzed using the GLM software by SAS (2003), and the means were compared with Tukey''''s test at the 5 % level of probability.

Results and Discussion

Weight loss worsened as the birds were subjected to increasing hatch-to-placement interval, regardless of their hatch weight and of the supplements offered. No significant differences were observed in both absolute or relative weight loss in the chicks fed the various supplements (P>0.05). Nevertheless, significant differences were observed in the absolute and relative weight loss between the chicks with different hatch weights with Access to the post-hatch supplement for 24 hours (P<0.05) (Table 1).

Table 1. Absolute and relative weight loss in the chickens that received various levels of supplements after hatch

Treatments

Weight loss, 24 h

Weight loss, 48 h

Absolute (g)

Relative (%)

Absolute (g)

Relative (%)

Light

0.4 ± 0.5b

1.0 ± 1.2b

1.6 ± 0.4

3.6 ± 0.9

Heavy

1.2 ± 0.6a

2.4 ± 1.2a

1.9 ± 0.9

4.0 ± 1.8

Supplement 8/16

0.9 ± 0.7

1.8 ± 1.4

1.8 ± 0.6

3.8 ± 1.2

Supplement 10/20

0.8 ± 0.7

1.6 ± 1.4

 1.8 ± 0.8

3.8 ± 1.6

Wt. x supplement interaction

NS

NS

NS

NS

Means (±standard deviation) with different letters in a column and for the same variable were different as per Tukey''''s test (P<0.05); NS: not significant.

Absolute and relative weight loss can be interpreted as poor chick quality, resulting in dehydration (Casteel et al., 1994) and intake of meconium (Baião et al., 1992).

Heavier chicks at hatch had a higher live weight all the way to 21 days of age (P<0.05). The results shown here match those of Stringhini et al. (2003). The administration period of supplements after hatch significantly affected live weight to 21 days of life (P<0.05), since the chickens that received the supplement for 48 hours had a higher body weight than those receiving the supplement for 24 hours. In agreement with Noy and Sklan (1998), early nutrition provides the bird with nutrients for a good growth start, so that they get more mature nutritionally speaking. In addition, various authors have stated that early nutrition results in beneficial effects on GI tract maturation (Baranyiova and Holman, 1976; Maiorka et al., 2003), and on bird''''s enzyme system (Sklan and Noy, 2000). The birds receiving the 8/16 supplement were heavier at housing time than those receiving the 10/20 supplement (P<0.05). Despite of this, this effect did not persist to later ages, so that no significant difference existed between the two post-hatch supplements.

Table 2. Effect of hatch weight and of the administration of various port-hatch supplements for 24 or 48 hours on live weight (g) and feed intake (g) in broilers in the periods from 1 to 7, from 1 to 21 and from 1 to 42 days of age

 

Weight (g)

Feed Intake (g)

Treatment

1-7

1-21

1-42

1-7

1-21

1-42

Light

43 ± 1b

1,067 ± 18b

2,988 ± 91

176 ± 4b

1,394 ± 25

4,945 ± 115

Heavy

47 ± 1a

1,086 ± 24a

2,990 ± 115

180 ± 5a

1,411 ± 29

4,932 ± 135

Suppl. 8/16

45 ± 2a

1,075 ± 23

2,976 ± 120

177 ± 4

1,401 ± 22

4,926 ± 144

Suppl. 10/20

45 ± 3b

1,077 ± 24

3,003 ± 82

179 ± 5

1,404 ± 34

4,950 ± 102

24 hours

46 ± 3a

1,065 ± 17b

2,953 ± 102

175 ± 4b

1,392 ± 19b

4,913 ± 140

48 hours

45 ± 2b

1,087 ± 23a

3,026 ± 91a

181 ± 4a

1,413 ± 32a

4,964 ± 103

Means (±standard deviation) with different letters in a column and for the same variable were different as per Tukey''''s test  (P<0.05); NS: not significant.

Table 3. Effect of hatch weight and of the administration of various post-hatch supplements for 24 or 48 hours on weight gain (g) and feed conversion rate (g/g) in broilers from in the periods from 1 to 7, from 1 to 21 and from 1 to 42 days of age

 

Weight Gain (g/g)

Feed Conversion Rate

 

Treatment

1-7

1-21

1-42

1

21

42

Light

163 ± 5

1,023 ± 18b

2,944 ± 91

1.09 ± 0.03

1.36 ± 0.02

1.68 ± 0.03

Heavy

164 ± 7

1,038 ± 25a

2,943 ± 115

1.10 ± 0.03

1.36 ± 0.01

1.68 ± 0.04

Suppl. 8/16

163 ± 6

1,029 ± 22

2,930 ± 120

1.09 ± 0.03

1.36 ± 0.02

1.68 ± 0.03

Suppl. 10/20

164 ± 5

1,032 ± 23

2,958 ± 82

1.09 ± 0.03

1.36 ± 0.02

1.67 ± 0.04

24 hours

159 ± 3b

1,019 ± 17b

2,907 ± 103b

1.10 ± 0.03

1.37 ± 0.02

1.69 ± 0.03

48 hours

167 ± 5a

1,043 ± 22a

2,981 ± 90a

1.08 ± 0.03

1.36 ± 0.02

1.67 ± 0.04

                 

Means (±standard deviation) with different letters in a column and for the same variable were different as per Tukey''''s test  (P<0.05); NS: not significant.

The heaviest birds at hatch had a higher feed intake in the period from 1 to 7 days of age (P<0.05), but such effect was only temporary, since no significant differences were found at later ages, thus corroborating the results obtained by Stringhini et al. (2003) and Pedroso et al. (2006). A significant effect of the period of administration of the supplements on feed intake, up to 21 days of age.

The heaviest chicks at hatch had a higher weight gain in the 3 first week s of life, but this effect disappeared afterwards. The birds that received the supplements for 48 hours had a higher weight gain (P<0.05) that persisted for the first 3 weeks of life. This observation could be due to the positive effect of the supplements on the maturation of the GI tract.

In agreement with  Batal and Parsons, (2002) GI tract development can be promoted by the intake of post-hatch supplements, which is reflected in the digestion/absorption capacity. No significant differences were seen in weight gain between the two post-hatch supplements.

In the study reported by Pedroso et al. (2005), improved feed conversion rate was found in broilers that were deprived of feed during the first 48 hours of life, as compared to those that received the feed immediately after hatch.

Carcass yield/parts yield

Regarding carcass yield and parts yield only a subtle difference was found in the amount of abdominal fat in the birds that received the post-hatch supplements, since those fed toe 10/20 product had a higher abdominal fat deposition tan the group fed the 8/16 supplement (P<0.05) (Table 4). No weight x supplement, weight x time, supplement x time or weight x supplement x time interactions occurred on carcass yield. The administration of the 10/20 supplement in the chick transportation boxes for 24 hours resulted in nearly 7% increase in breast filet weight of the broilers at 42 days of age, corroborating the results obtained by Noy and Sklan (1999), and Halevy et al. (2001). This result can be explained by various factors, including the trend to a higher mitotic activity in the satellite cells in the birds receiving the 10/20 supplement or even by the improved GI tract development in these animals, which allowed for improved nutrient absorption, and muscle development.

Table 4. Effect of hatch weight and of the administration of various post-hatch supplements for 24 or 48 hours on carcass yield, part yields, edible viscera, and abdominal fat in broilers at 42 days of age1

Treatments

Heart

Gizzard

Liver

Fat

Carcass

Wings

Filet

Back

Light

0.5±0.1

1.3±0.2

1.7±0.2

1.2±0.3

71.1±1.4

11.6±0.6

30.6±1.5

19.9±1.0

Heavy

0.5±0.

1.3±0.

1.8±0.2

1.3±0.3

70.7±1.6

11.5±0.7

30.9±1.4

19.8±0.9

Suppl 10/20

0.5±0.

1.3±0.1

1.7±0.2

1.3±0.3a

71.1±1.4

11.6±0.7

30.9±1.4

19.8±0.9

Suppl l8/16

0.5±0.1

1.3±0.2

1.8±0.2

1.2±0.3b

70.8±1.6

11.5±0.5

30.7±1.5

20.0±1.0

Time 48 hours

0.5±0.1

1.3±0.1

1.7±0.2

1.2±0.4

70.9±1.7

11.5±0.7

30.9±1.4

19.9±1.0

Time 24 hours

0.5±0.1

1.3±0.2

1.8±0.2

1.2±0.3

71.0±1.3

11.6±0.5

30.7±1.5

19.9±0.9

1Weight of heart, gizzard, liver, abdominal fat, and eviscerated carcass, relative to live body weight, and % weight of wings, breast, and back, over the eviscerated carcass. Means (± standard deviation) with different letters in a column and for the same variable are statistically different as per Tukey´s test (P<0.05).

Conclusions

Chick hatch weight had significant effects on broiler performance to 21 days of age, but no affect was observed whatsoever after this age. Both post-hatch supplements were efficacious in minimizing weight losses prior to housing, but the 10/20 post-hatch supplement was more efficacious in promoting a higher breast filet yield in the broilers processed at 42 days of age.

Bibliography

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Baranyiova E & Holman J. 1976. Morphological changes in the intestinal wall in fed and fasted chickens in the first week after hatching. Acta Veterinaria Brno. 45:151-158.

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Halevy O, Krispin A, Leshem Y, McMurtry JP, Yahav S. 2001. Early-age heat exposure affects skeletal muscle satellite cell proliferation and differentiation in chicks. American Journal of Physiology. Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 281:R302-R309.

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Pedroso AA, Barbosa CE, Stringhini JH, Barcellos Café M, Mogyca Leandro NS, Teixeira Barbosa V. 2006. Intervalo entre a retirada do nascedouro e o alojamento de pintos de diferentes pesos oriundos de matrizes jovens. Ciência Animal Brasileira 7:249-256.

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Sklan D & Noy Y. 2000. Hydrolysis and absorption in the small intestines of posthatch chicks. Poultry Science 79:1306-1310.

Stringhini JH, di Resende A, Barcellos Café M, Mogyca Leandro NS, Andrade MA. 2003. Efeito do peso inicial dos pintos e do período da dieta préinicial sobre o desempenho de frangos de corte. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 32:353-360.

Uni Z & Ferket PR. 2004. Methods for early nutrition and their potential. World''''s Poultry Science Journal 60:1001-111.

 

 

 
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