Poultry performance in different grazing densities: forage characteristics, losses due to grazing and feed intake

Luciano Cristiano França, Josiane Aparecida de Lima, Flávia Maria de Andrade Gimenes, Vicente José Maria Savino, Antonio Augusto Domingos Coelho, Claudia Cristina Paro de Paz

Abstract


Morphological characteristics of three forage species grazed by rustic poultry in stocking were evaluated. Coast-cross fodder, kikuyu grass, and stylosanthes were planted in 33-m2 paddocks with two densities (m2/animal): D1 = 3m2/animal and D2 = 1m2/animal. The design was a randomized complete block with a 3 x 2 factorial (three grasses and two densities) and three replications. Grass canopy height, grass mass, morphological composition (leaf, stem, and dead material), losses due to grazing, poultry weight gain and consumption, and concentrate feed conversion ratio and efficiency were evaluated. At the end of the experiment, forage and leaves masses were considered low to stylosanthes in D2 (0.28 to 0.03 kg/m2) and to kikuyu grass in D1 (0.13 to 0.05 kg/m2) and in D2 (0.11 and 0.03 kg/m2), respectively. In addition, the grass canopy height was considered low for stylosanthes (6.50 cm) that could jeopardize the entry of new poultry lot. The three grass species had similar weight gain and revealed better results for 3m²/ chicken (3.20 kg/animal). Coast-cross fodder, kikuyu grass, and stylosanthes, with some exceptions, can be considered suitable for grazing fattening poultry at 3m2/animal at the evaluated time of the year (autumn).


Keywords


Alternative poultry; Animal welfare; Cynodon spp. cv. Coastcross-1; Pennisetum Clandestinum; Stylosanthes sp.



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2014v35n2p939

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
E-mail: semina.agrarias@uel.br
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional