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Revista Brasileira de Ciência Avícola
Print version ISSN 1516-635X
MENDES, AS et al. Effects of initial body weight and litter material on broiler production. Rev. Bras. Cienc. Avic. [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.3, pp.165-170. ISSN 1516-635X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-635X2011000300001.
This experiment was carried out in a 104 m2 poultry house located between the geographical coordinates 25°45'00" south latitude and 53°03'25" west longitude and an average altitude of 550 m, from September to November, 2008. The chickens were placed in 12 pens measuring 2 m2 each at a stocking density of 12 chickens m-2. This study aimed at evaluating the effect of two different initial weights (chick weight on first day of experiment) and two types of litter material on broiler production parameters, litter humidity, as well as on breast and footpad lesions. A total of 240 female Cobb® chickens, derived from the same flock of breeders, was distributed in a completely randomized experimental design with a 2 (initial weight) by 2 (litter material) factorial arrangement with three replicates per treatment. Initial weights were classified as light (34.40 - 35.22 g) or heavy (39.29 - 41.30 g), whereas wood shavings and sawdust were used as litter material. Data were analyzed by ANOVA and means were compared by Tukey's test at 95% confidence level. Initial weight significantly influenced bird performance, as chickens with heavy initial weight presented higher feed intake and body weight. Type of litter did not have any effect on breast injuries and litter humidity. However, the wood shavings litter significantly influenced footpad lesions.
Keywords : Breast lesions; footpad lesion; sawdust; wood shavings.