Author(s): Careghi C, Tona K, Onagbesan O, Buyse J, Decuypere E,
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Abstract Delay in access to feed for 1-d-old chicks impairs posthatch growth. It is a standard practice that 1-d-old chicks are deprived of feed for about 48 h before they are placed on farms. During incubation, there is a spread of 24 to 48 h for late versus early hatching. As spread of hatch increases, number of chicks that are feed-deprived for a longer time before free access (IA) to feed and water increases. In this current study, we investigated the effects of time delay in feed access on chick juvenile relative growth (RG: a measure of speed of growth) up to d 7, taking into consideration the duration of egg storage and spread of hatch. Our results confirmed that delay in feed access caused weight loss during holding time and depressed growth rate after access to feed. The magnitude of the effect depended on the hatching period within the hatching window. It also depended on whether the biological age (BA) or the chronological age (CA) of the chick was considered. Immediate access to feed produced significantly different results depending on CA or BA. Both ways, the method seemed to benefit the late hatchers. This finding contrasts with the effect of delayed feeding in which early hatchers benefited more. Long duration of egg storage depressed RG not only of chicks with immediate access to feed but also in those denied access after hatch. Delay in feed access significantly aggravated the effects of long egg storage duration on RG. Triiodothyronine levels were lower in feed-deprived chicks, and the effect was greater in late hatchers. It is concluded that the beginning of delay in feed access should be determined from the time of hatch not at the end of hatch. It is suggested that the adverse effects of delay in feed access can be reduced by providing a source of energy in hatching baskets or during transportation.
This article was published in Poult Sci
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology