Effects of season, genotype, and rearing system on broiler chickens raised in different semi-intensive systems: performance, mortality, and slaughter results

Abstract

This study aimed to determine the effects of chicken genotype (fast-growing and slow-growing), various semi-intensive production systems (extensive indoor, free-range, and traditional free-range), and season (spring and summer) on animal performance, mortality, growth curve, and slaughter results under semi-environmentally controlled conditions in a subtropical region. Production systems were applied in conformity with the EU standards. While the summer experiment improved performance during brooding (1st–28th days), hot conditions led to a decline in performance during the growing period. In addition, negative effects were determined for all parameters of Gompertz growth curve in summer (P < 0.05, for all). In spring, fast-growing showed 36% higher final live weights than slow-growing, and this difference decreased in summer (16% for extensive indoor and 25% for free-range) (P < 0.05, for all). Fast-growing in extensive indoor and free-range displayed similar weight gains in the growing period, whereas grazing ones consumed less feed (P < 0.05) and thus showed better (P < 0.05) feed conversion. The same situation was true for slow-growing in spring. The mortality was approximately 1% in all groups in spring, while it was 17.36 and 18.06% for fast-growing in extensive indoor and free-range and 1.39, 2.78, and 4.29 for slow-growing in extensive indoor, free-range, and traditional free-range in summer. It is advantageous to choose fast-growing if short-term (56 days) fattening especially under optimum conditions is to be preferred. If the growing period coincides with summer, slow-growing should definitely be preferred and the fattening period should be extended to 82 days. Grazing improved feed conversion (P < 0.05) by reducing cereal-based diet consumption in both genotypes but did not affect carcass yield. However, grazing had a positive effect on fleshing.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Ege-Tav (Turkey) company for supplying chicks and Polimed (Turkey) for feed additives and vaccines.

Funding

This research was funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (Project No.: 105 O 432).

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All listed authors have made substantial contributions to the research design, or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data, and drafting the manuscript or revising it critically. All authors have approved the submitted version.

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Correspondence to T. Aksoy.

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All methods and procedures employed in this study complied with the recommendations by the Animal Welfare and Ethics Board of Akdeniz University (Antalya, Turkey).

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Aksoy, T., Çürek, D.İ., Narinç, D. et al. Effects of season, genotype, and rearing system on broiler chickens raised in different semi-intensive systems: performance, mortality, and slaughter results. Trop Anim Health Prod 53, 189 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-021-02629-y

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Keywords

  • Extensive indoor
  • Free-range
  • Traditional free-range
  • Gompertz
  • Feed consumption
  • Meat yield