Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Variation of feed intake in broiler chickens in case of sequential feeding

Isabelle Bouvarel 
Abstract : Sequential feeding (SF) is a cyclic feeding program with two diets for one or several days which can partially recreate the conditions of a more varied diet. The aim of this present study was to understand better how the chicken in SF adapts feed intake, depending on the time, and energy and protein contents. Four experiments were conducted with male broiler chickens. SF was carried out during 48h-cycles with pairs of diets varying in energy (2800 (E-) and 3200 kcal / kg (E +)) and / or protein contents (230 (P +) and 150 g / kg (P-)). SF schedules were compared to C diet (3000 kcal / kg and 190 g / kg crude protein). The 1st experience indicates that the chicken does not adapt its consumption to the energy content over 24 h since it eats more of the concentrated diet, and it is very slow to adjust its feed intake to protein content (more than one week). The age at which SF (D10 and D18) was introduced did not affect these reactions. The two following experiments aimed at evaluate if feed intake reactions depend on feed preferences. Experimented chickens showed a clear preference for the energy-rich diet compared to naïve chickens, which preferred the energy-poor diet. However, preferences for protein seemed to be not very clear. Interactions between the nutritional properties and sensorial cues of feed could explain these results. We observed that, even if the chicken expressed a preference for the harder pellets, the feed recognition of energy content was not related to this characteristic. The modern chicken quickly develops a preference for energy, which is not spontaneous but acquired over successive exposures. This preference drives feed intake from one day to another, resulting in a balance due to the symmetry of the inputs. The variation of protein content leads to lower effects on feed intake and this after a longer exposure. To adapt their feed intake chickens learn to recognize feed, by associating sensory characteristics to post-ingestive effects. These cues, which involve visual and tactile elements, are still difficult to evaluate accurately and require further investigation.
Document type :
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Ecole AgroParisTech Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 8:00:00 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 12:26:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, September 30, 2010 - 9:10:07 PM


  • HAL Id : pastel-00005251, version 1



Isabelle Bouvarel. Variation of feed intake in broiler chickens in case of sequential feeding. Life Sciences [q-bio]. AgroParisTech, 2009. English. ⟨NNT : 2009AGPT0019⟩. ⟨pastel-00005251⟩



Record views


Files downloads