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2018 | 27 | 3 |
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Influence of early feeding with different diet composition on performance and intestinal morphology of layer-type chicks during the brooding period

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The study was conducted to examine the effects of early feeding with diets of different composition or fasting for 72 h on performance, intestinal organs development and intestinal histomorphology of layer-type chicks during the brooding period. In total, 400 chicks (50% males, 50% females) were randomly allocated to 4 treatments with 4 replications of 25 chicks each. The dietary treatments during the first 72 h of life were: T1 (control) – fasting, T2 – a starter layer diet containing crude protein (CP) 20% and metabolizable energy (ME) 11.84 MJ/kg, T3 – a diet containing 20% CP and 11.81 MJ/kg ME (3% molasses in its composition), and T4 – a starter broiler diet (23% CP and 12.68 MJ/kg ME). For the whole 42-day experimental period, it was indicated that birds fed T4 and T3 diets had higher body weight gain and better feed conversion ratio than fasted ones. Chicks fed T4 diet had the highest intestinal weight and length at day 14 of age. Whereas, birds from T3 group had increased gizzard weight than other groups both at days 14 and 28 of age. At day 14 of age, increased duodenal villus height and width and smaller crypt depth were recorded in T4 group in comparison to fasted and other groups of animals. Longer villi and smaller crypt depth of jejunum were found in T4 and T3 chicks than in fasted ones. Longer ileal villi was observed in T4 birds at day 14 of age. The obtained results suggest that early feeding with a diet rich in CP or containing molasses addition has beneficial effects on the production performance and intestinal development of layer-type chicks.
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