Optimising the feeding of commercial broilers

Rob Gous -  University of Natal, South Africa

Optimising the feeding of commercial broilers during their growing period is made difficult because of the many interacting factors influencing the growth and food intake of these birds. Not all broilers are the same, nor are the environments in which they are housed, and the costs of feeding and the revenue derived from the sale of the product differs markedly from one locality to another. When making decisions about how to maximise some economic index, such as margin/m2 annum or breast meat yield in a commercial broiler operation, all of these interacting factors should be considered simultaneously. This is now possible, using optimisation techniques, but only if food intake can be accurately predicted.

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