The objective of the present study was to determine the effect of wood shavings, wheat straw, and their mixture as litter material on growth performance in broilers from 1 d to 42 d of age. A total of one hundred and fifty one-day-old Hubbard® chicks were used in our experiment, weighed and assigned at random into 6 pens of 25 birds each. There were two replicates of each of the following three treatments: 1) wood shavings, 2) wheat straw, and 3) a mix of 50% wood shavings and 50% wheat straw. The pens were littered at a depth of 75 mm. The results indicated no significant influence of used litter materials on feed consumption (FC), body weight gain (BWG) and feed conversion ratios (FCR). Mortality of birds reared on wheat straw tended to be numerically higher than that of other two treatments. Significant differences were observed for percentage litter moisture among treatments, while no consistent differences in litter pH were noted. The type of litter used in the rearing pens had significant effect on some indices of leg weakness. Walking ability scores (gait scores, GS) and foot pad burn scores were lowest in pens littered with wood shavings and highest in those littered with wheat straw, with birds reared on a mix being intermediate. It was concluded that wood shavings alone and when mixed with wheat straw are potential litter materials for broiler production.
Litter Material, Broilers Performance
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