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Effects of Different Floor Systems and the Bird’s Age on Body Weight Gain and Feather Score of Broiler Breeder Hens

Authors:

P. V. D. Sewwandi,

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, 70140, LK
About P. V. D.
Department of Livestock Production, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
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R. K. Mutucumarana ,

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, 70140, LK
About R. K.
Department of Livestock Production, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
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A. Iddamalgoda

Ceylon Grain Elevators PLC, Colombo 15, LK
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Abstract

Purpose: Feathers are known to play a significant role in thermoregulation and provide a physical protection to the birds. Presence or absence of a good feather cover therefore, directly influences on  a bird’s performance. The study reported herein was conducted to assess the effects of floor system and the bird’s age on body weight gain (BWG) and feather score in Indian River (IR) broiler breeder hens.  

Research Method: The experiment was conducted in 2 x 4 factorial arrangements of treatments which included two floor systems (slatted floor and litter floor) and four age groups (23, 32, 38 and 45 weeks). A total of 400 IR breeder hens were assigned to 08 treatments with two replicates per each (25 birds/replicate) and were fed formulated breeder rations recommended based on the age and the production rate. The body weight, mortality and feather scores were recorded in a two-week experimental period.

Findings: A significant interaction (P<0.05) between floor type and age was observed for BWG. The highest mean BWG was recorded (313 g/bird) in 23-week old birds kept on slatted floors.  Overall feather loss (P<0.05) and feather loss in back (P<0.05), wings (P<0.05) and tail areas (P<0.05) of IR breeder hens were the lowest when the birds were kept on slatted floors. Increasing bird’s age significantly (P<0.05) increased the overall feather loss and feather loss in back, wings and tail areas.

Original Value: The present study concluded that among the age groups tested, the highest BWG of IR breeder hens were recorded at 23-weeks of age when they were on slatted floors. The slatted floor system was highly effective in reducing feather loss in IR breeder hens. Feather loss was increased with advancement of a bird’s age.
How to Cite: Sewwandi, P.V.D., Mutucumarana, R.K. and Iddamalgoda, A., 2018. Effects of Different Floor Systems and the Bird’s Age on Body Weight Gain and Feather Score of Broiler Breeder Hens. Journal of Agricultural Sciences – Sri Lanka, 14(1), pp.49–56. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jas.v14i1.8456
Published on 27 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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