African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6574

Full Length Research Paper

Effects of feed withdrawal periods of different durations on the growth performance of male Hybro broiler chickens

O. Acheampong-Boateng1, K. Benyi2, D. Norris3 and M. S. Maake1
  1Department of Agriculture and Animal Health, University of South Africa, Florida, South Africa. 2Department of Animal Science, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa. 3Department of Animal Production, University of Limpopo, Sovenga, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 12 June 2012
  •  Published: 31 July 2012



The effects of feeding Hybro broiler chickens ad libitum (control), 6 days/week, 5 days/week or every other day from 7 to 35 days of age followed by full feeding to 49 days of age was investigated. During the feed removal period, the control birds consumed more feed, gained more weight and were heavier at the end of the period than the feed-restricted birds. The birds whose feeding periods were reduced by 1 or 2 days per week had similar performance but outperformed their counterparts which were fed every other day. Feed restriction did not influence feed conversion ratio. During realimentation, birds on all treatments consumed similar quantities of feed, had similar weight gains and utilized feed with the same degree of efficiency but the previously- restricted ones could not recover from the slow growth during restriction and were lighter than the control birds. Overall, feed removal for 1or 2 days a week or every other day reduced feed intake, weight gain and market weight without influencing feed efficiency, mortality rate and abdominal fat deposition. It may be concluded that for profitable broiler production, the birds may be deprived of feed for two days in a week.


Key words: Feed withdrawal, growth performance, broiler chickens.