In a 56 days experiment, 432-day old chicks were used to determine the influence of varying levels of calorie:protein ratio on the growth performance and haematology of two strains of commercial pullet chicks. Each of the strains, (i)Nera Black (NB) and (ii)Isa Brown (IB) were randomly allocated to three dietary levels of calorie:protein ratio designed to contain normal calorie:protein ratio (NC:P), high calorie:protein ratio (HC:P) and low calorie:protein ratio (LC:P). This gave a total of six treatments, replicated thrice to give 18 replicates comprised 24 birds each. Results showed that strain effect was significantly (p<0.05) higher in NB for average daily feed intake (ADFI) 27.81g and average daily weight gain (ADWG) 9.20g and lower (p<0.05) feed conversion ratio (FCR) 2.99 than corresponding values for IB. Strain effect also influenced (p<0.05) all haematology indices except haemoglobin, red blood cell and basophils. It also affected the serum indices at higher (p<0.05) values for glucose, calcium, and phosphorus in NB chicks. Calorie:Protein ratio effect was significantly higher (p<0.05) in ADFI (29.64g) for birds fed HC:P while those on NC:P recorded ADWG (9.32g) and FCR (2.72). All the haematological and serum indices values were influenced (p<0.05) by the calorie protein ratio effect whereas other determined parameters were not. Strain x Calorie Protein effect on the growth performance showed NB chicks fed HC:P recorded highest (p<0.05) ADFI (30.52g), while those on LC:P had highest ADWG (9.61g). Best FCR (p<0.05) was observed among chicks fed LC:P (2.74) while NB chicks on HC:P showed the best PER (1.51). All the haematology parameters except basophils and serum indices albumin and total protein were significantly influenced (p<0.05) by the strain x calorie:protein ratio. The study showed that Nera Black strain performed optimally than Isa Brown in the tropical zone where the trial was conducted.
Key words: Commercial pullet, high calorie: protein ration: Low Calorie:protein ratio. Normal Calorie:protein ratio.
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