Rural poultry production: Incubating capacity of broody hens and chick performance; comparison of growth rate and meat yield characteristics of cockerels between Fayoumi and Sonali
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The poultry models of Bangladesh undertaken by the Smallholder Livestock Development Project (SLDP) and Participatory Livestock Development Project (PLDP) are almost the same. Both have the common key rearers, who are supposed to have 4 broody hens to incubate the exotic eggs. To generate the required information for the key rearers as well as other beneficiaries a study was conducted to determine the optimum number of eggs to be incubated under a broody hen. Two classes of broody hens, weighing 800-950 g and 950-1100 g, were used to incubate 8,11, 14 and 17 eggs under the traditional method in rural conditions of Bangladesh. Hatching eggs, from parents (Rhode Island Red a x Fayoumi), in average of 41.3 .t 2.77(SD) g and with a shape index on 66% were set under hens. No differences were round in hatchability % on fertile eggs among the different egg number groups and between the hen weight classes. But hatchability was apparently highest (87.4 %) for 14 eggs. Different number of eggs could not affect survivability of chicks, but hens of lower weight class had significantly higher chick survivability. Broody hens reduced their feed intake (wheat grain) by 40% and body weight by 12% during incubation period. Weight gain and the final body weight of chicks, fed on scavenging partially and commercial diet containing 11.9 to 12.3 MJ/kg ME, 19% CP and 3% CF, was highest in case of 8 eggs, lowest with 17 eggs and medium with 11 or 14 eggs of incubation. Total feed consumption of chicks among the egg number groups reduced with the increased number of chicks. The current study demonstrates that the statement 'The smaller the broody hens the lower the incubating capacity may not be true. Indigenous broody hens have the capacity of incubating (87.2% hatchability on fertile eggs) up to 17 eggs weighing in average of 41 g. It means that even the smaller sized broody hens ( 800- 950 g) have the capacity of incubating 80% (total 697 g eggs) of their average body weight (875 g). Broody hens of lower weight could protect the chicks better from predators, and thereby increased chick survivability up to 95.4%. However, incubation of 14 eggs by broody hens will be more profitable for the farmers of Bangladesh. There is a surplus of male chicks of Sonali and Fayoumi produced in the Government farms. For the meat production these cockerels could be used, which ultimately could make good income generating activities among the rural people. From this idea an experiment was carried out under village conditions by the farmers in confinement systems. To compare the growth rate and meat yield characteristics between Sonali and Fayoumi cockerels, two hundred four male birds were selected at the age of 8 weeks, an equal number of each breed divided into 6 replications containing 17 birds in each. Rise husk (8 cm thick) was used as a litter on 45 cm elevated floor, made of bamboos, from the ground. Floor space per bird was given 984 cm2. All birds were fed ad libitum commercial layer grower mash, a diet containing Metabolizable energy 11.9-12.1 (MJ/kg), crude protein 16% (min), crude fiber 5.0% (max), crude fat 4.5% (min), crude ash 6.0% (max), lysine 0.9% (min), methionine 0.3% (min), calcium 1.2% (min), available phosphorous 0.45% (min). Crossbred Sonali although were not significantly different from Fayoumi, but in case of body weight the differences were close to the significant level. Sonali was apparently superior in weight gain, feed efficiency and significantly higher in breast, leg and total meat percentage. Mortaliry was lower in sonali (7.8%) compared to Fayoumi (9.8%). It can be concluded that crossbred Sonali is performing better compared to purebred Fayoumi under the intensive system in the village conditions of Bangladesh.
Livestock breed typesFAYOUMI
- DAGRIS