Influence of dietary nutrient density, feed form, and lighting on growth and meat yield of broiler chickens

Poult Sci. 2007 Oct;86(10):2172-81. doi: 10.1093/ps/86.10.2172.


The objective of this study was to examine main and interactive effects of nutrient density (ND), feed form (FF; mash, pellet), and lighting program (12L:12D, 20L:4D) on production characteristics and meat yield of broilers raised to 35 d of age. Diets (starter, grower, and finisher) were formulated so that amino acid levels were in proportion to the dietary energy level. Lighting programs were initiated at 4 d of age. Body weight was not affected by ND when diets were fed in a pellet form but decreased in a linear manner with lower ND when fed as a mash. Final BW of birds fed mash were less than those of birds fed pellet diets. Feed to gain ratio decreased with increasing ND but was not affected by FF. Feed intake decreased with increasing ND and was lower for birds fed mash. The effect of ND on feed intake was less when birds were fed mash in contrast to pellet diets (P(ND x F) < 0.0001). Dietary ND had no effect on mortality, but feeding mash decreased mortality (3.8%) compared with feeding pelleted feed (5.6%). Lighting programs affected production characteristics independently of ND and FF. Use of 12L:12D reduced BW, feed to gain ratio, feed intake, and mortality compared with 20L:4D. Similarly, carcass components were not affected by ND when fed in pellet form but decreased with lower ND when fed as a mash. Overall, carcass yields were reduced when broilers were fed mash or provided with 12L:12D. Female birds had higher carcass yields and increased proportional breast meat deposition compared with males.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Chickens / growth & development*
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Light*
  • Male
  • Meat*
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Weight Gain / drug effects*
  • Weight Gain / radiation effects*