Effects of Breeder Age and Stocking Density on Performance, Carcass Characteristics and Some Stress Parameters of Broilers

  • Onbasilar, E.E. (Ankara University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Science) ;
  • Poyraz, O. (Ankara University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Science) ;
  • Cetin, S. (Atatürk University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Microbiology)
  • Received : 2007.07.21
  • Accepted : 2007.10.11
  • Published : 2008.02.01


The aim of this study was to determine the effects of breeder age and stocking density on performance, carcass characteristics and some stress parameters (H-L ratio, serum glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, tonic immobility test (TI), antibody production, relative asymmetry (RA) and external appearances). This experiment was carried out with 705 one-day old male broiler chicks (Ross 308) obtained from three different ages of broiler breeder (32, 48 and 61 wks). Each age group was randomly divided into two stocking density groups (11.9 and 17.5 broilers per $m^2$) with 5 replications per group. The experimental period was 6 weeks. Broilers from 32 wk-old breeders had lower initial weight (p<0.001), body weight gain of the first 3 week of rearing (p<0.01), the percentage of abdominal fat (p<0.001) and serum cholesterol level (p<0.01); higher percentage of gizzard (p<0.01) and longer TI duration (p<0.001) than those from 48 and 61 wk-old breeders. Broilers reared at 17.5 b/m2 had lower final BW, body weight gain, feed consumption, feather condition and foot health (p<0.001), higher percentage of heart, H-L ratio, serum glucose and cholesterol levels (p<0.001), and longer TI durations (p<0.001). There were no significant interactions in examined parameters except for feed to gain ratio between breeder age and stocking density.


Supported by : Ankara University Research Fund


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