Phase feeding in a small-bird production scenario: Effect on growth performance, yield, and fillet dimension

V. B. Brewer, C. M. Owens, J. L. Emmert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phase feeding (PF) has been effective at maintaining broiler growth while reducing production cost, but the effect on different broiler strains grown in a small-bird production scenario has not been assessed. Three strains of commercial broilers were fed a diet containing average industry nutrient levels from 0 to 18 d. From 18 to 32 d, birds were fed either diets with average industry nutrient levels or diets with phased levels of amino acids. For PF, diets were prepared that contained Lys, sulfur amino acids, and Thr levels matching the predicted requirements for birds at the beginning (high nutrient density) and end (low nutrient density) of PF. Pelleted high and low nutrient-density diets were blended to produce rations containing amino acid levels that matched the predicted PF requirements over 2-d intervals, and diets were switched every other day during PF. Treatments were replicated in 6 pens; each pen contained 15 males and 15 females. Weight gain, feed intake, and feed efficiency were calculated. All birds were commercially processed; yield and fillet dimensions were calculated. Differences among strain BW were noted on d 0, 18, 32, and at processing. Males weighed more than females on d 18 (excluding strain C), 32, and the day of processing. Weight gain was affected by strain (P < 0.05) but not by feeding regimen in the overall growth period (18-39 d). Feed efficiency was improved by PF in strains B and C during the overall growth period. Fillet yield was improved with PF for strain B, and there were no significant differences between PF and industry fillet yields for the other 2 strains. Phase feeding had no effect on fillet dimensions, and there was little effect of strain. These results suggest that different strains may vary in their response to PF, although performance was similar or better in PF birds compared with birds fed the industry diet, regardless of strain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1262-1268
Number of pages7
JournalPoultry science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Broiler
  • Phase feeding
  • Strain
  • Yield

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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