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South African Journal of Animal Science

On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Print version ISSN 0375-1589


SODELLA, P.; RANI, Z.  and  GOUS, R.M.. The impact of dietary protein content and lighting programme on breast meat yield in broiler chickens. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2022, vol.52, n.1, pp.67-76. ISSN 2221-4062.

Effects of the interaction between lighting programme and dietary protein content on broiler performance and meat yield were investigated. The hypothesis was that low breast meat yield from birds managed under short day lengths could be improved by increasing dietary protein content. The treatments consisted of four lighting programmes and four dietary protein levels. They were applied to sexed broilers from one day old to 35 days old. Eight light-tight rooms each contained eight pens with 50 birds, sexes separate, in each pen. Each feed x sex treatment was replicated twice in each room, with the four lighting treatments also being replicated twice. Multiple regression analysis was used to measure responses to the three factors. There was no significant interaction between dietary protein content and lighting programme in feed intake, feed conversion efficiency, bodyweight gain, carcass chemical composition and breast meat yield. Breast meat yield was linearly related to the number of hours of light, the highest yield occurring on the longest day length. Food intake was the same on the shortest day length and the longest, yet breast meat yield was greater on the 23-hour light programme. The decreased breast meat yield in broilers given short day lengths was therefore not the consequence of a shortage of dietary protein, and this hypothesis therefore had to be rejected.

Keywords : breast meat; day length; dietary protein; feed conversion efficiency; feed intake.

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