The effect of age of introducing whole sorghum grain on performance of broiler chickens
M. Mabelebele 1  
,   R. M. Gous 2,   H. Massey O'Neil 3,   P. A. Iji 4
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University of South Africa, Department of Agriculture and Animal Health, Christiaan de Wet Rd & Pioneer Ave,1724, Rooderpoort, South Africa
University of KwaZulu Natal, 31 Golf Rd, Scottsville, 3201, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
AB Vista, Woodstock Ct, SN8 4AN, Marlborough, United Kingdom
Fiji National University, Kings Rd, 7222 Nasinu, Fiji
M. Mabelebele   

University of South Africa, Department of Agriculture and Animal Health, Christiaan de Wet Rd & Pioneer Ave,1724, Rooderpoort, South Africa
Publication date: 2020-06-30
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2020;29(2):151–157
The aim of this study was to assess the influence of age of whole sorghum grain introduction on productivity of male broiler chickens. In total, 324 one-day-old broiler chickens were assigned in a completely randomized design to 3 treatments (age of introduction of whole sorghum grain: 0, 11 and 25 days) with 9 replicates in each. Animals were offered 50% pre-pelleted whole sorghum at different growing ages. Body weight and feed intake were measured on a pen basis at 10, 25 and 35 day of age, and feed conversion ratio (FCR) was calculated. Birds introduced to whole sorghum grain feeding from day 0 and from 25 day of age, at 35 day of age were heavier and had better FCR (P < 0.05) than those to which whole grain was introduced from day 11. The relative visceral organ weights, meat parts yield, meat colour and pH were not influenced (P > 0.05) by the age of introduction of whole sorghum. The digestibility of gross energy, crude protein and starch were also not affected (P < 0.05). The age of introduction influenced certain performance parameters in broiler chickens. So, early feeding whole grain (at post-hatch) marginally improved body weight and FCR in broiler chickens.
The authors would like to acknowledge and appreciate the funding from National Research Foundation (NRF- GUN no: 97095), South Africa and AB Vista Marlborough, UK for making this work possible.
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