Four hundred and eighty 7-day-old Ross 308 and Hubbard chicks were fed ad libitum or full-fed every other day for 4, 6 and 8 days followed by ad libitum feeding to 49 days of age in a 2 x factorial experiment to study the effects of the different treatments on growth. The strains did not differ in feed conversion ratio and mortality rate but Ross 308 gained more weight and was heavier at market age but consumed more feed and deposited more abdominal fat. Overall, feed removal neither reduced feed intake and mortality rate nor improved feed efficiency but the control and the 4- and 6-day feed restricted birds had similar post-restriction weight gains and market weights and deposited more abdominal fat than the 8-day feed restricted ones. There was a significant strain × feeding regime interaction effects on 49-day weight and weight gain from 7 to 21 days. It is suggested that for profitable broiler production in the subtropics, Ross 308 be used and feed- restricted for 6 days during the starter period.
Key words: Broiler chicken strains, early-age skip-a-day feeding, growth performance subtropics.
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