Mild feed restriction and compensatory growth in the broiler chicken
The effects of mild feed restriction (MFR) on compensatory growth an performance in the broiler chicken was evaluated. MFR was imposed throughout the productive stage or at early and late growth periods. Qualitative feed restriction was imposed during the starter, grower or finisher period. Productive parameters and the occurrence of SDS and ascites were assessed. Apparent nitrogen digestibility and AMEn were also determined. Broilers subjected to MFR throughout their productive life did not compensate at 42 days of age, and they needed more time to attain market body weight, which reduces the yearly returns compared to 'ad libitum' fed birds. Imposing qualitative feed restriction reduced market body weight, breast meat yield, and mortality at either 42 or 49 d. Birds subjected to an early or late MFR showed compensatory growth compared to 'ad libitum' fed birds, and no differences were observed in F:G, mortality, breast meat yield, thigh yield, and AFP at 49 days of age. Feed restricted birds at an early period however, exhibited a significant improvement in feed conversion and breast meat yield at 42 d. Apparent nitrogen digestibility was not affected in birds subjected to a MFR at 15 days of age. Diet AMEn was affected in birds subjected to feed restriction or fed textured diets at 5 days of age, although no differences were seen at 28 or 48 d.