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  • 1 University of Lome Laboratory of Poultry Sciences, Faculty of Sciences B. P. 1515 Lome Togo
  • 2 University of Lome Laboratory of Pharmacology of Natural Substances, Faculty of Sciences Lome Togo
  • 3 Department of Biosystems Laboratory for Physiology and Immunology of Domestic Animals K. U. Leuven Belgium
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A total of 684 Hisex Brown day-old chicks were studied. The chicks were randomly assigned into three groups as follows: (1) chicks with immediate feed access; (2) chicks with 48 h delay in feed access, and (3) chicks with 72 h delay in feed access. For each group, chicks were assigned into 4 replications of 57 birds each. Prior to feed access, the chicks were weighed. Samples of chicks were used to weigh yolk sac at 1, 3 and 7 days and to collect blood at 1, 3, 7, 14 and 56 days. Also, reared chicks were weighed weekly. The results indicated that chick weights decreased during the holding period. Yolk sac utilisation was similar between groups, while morbidity and mortality increased linearly with the duration of delay in feed access. At 56 days, chicks having delayed access to feed were lighter than those without delay in feed access. Serum concentration of glucose up to 14 days and of total protein and triglycerides until 56 days decreased with the increasing duration of delay in feed access. It can be concluded that delayed feed access is detrimental to the juvenile performance of layer-type chicks and has a negative age-related effect on the serum concentrations of glucose, triglycerides and total protein.

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