This study was conducted in the Poultry Production Research Unit, Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, University of Kordofan, Elobeid. The experiment extended from September 10th to November 4th, 2016. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of deep litter floor and battery cages housing system on egg production and egg characteristics. Thirty two commercial hybrid layers (hy line) of 10 months production age were randomly selected and distributed equally in four deep litter ground cages. Thirty (hy line) layers were kept in battery cages. The battery system was consisted of triple deck cages, provided with automatic nipple watering system and front trough feeders. During the experimental period there were slight changes in live body weight, -0.01 kg and 0.04 kg were the overall average live body weight gain for layers housed in deep litter and layers kept in battery cages, were respectively. Differences in egg production percentage were significant differences (p ≤0.05) through the whole production period except the first weeks. However, the average egg weights produced from deep litter housed layers were higher than that produced from battery cages, and significant (p≤0.05) occurred only in the fourth week. Averages egg shape index ranged from 71.21% to 76.59% and 72.01% to 75.33% for the eggs laid by layers housed in deep litter floor and layers kept in battery cages, respectively. Layers housed in deep litter system significantly (p≤0.05) consumed more feed compared to layers kept in battery cages during the experimental period except the first week. Best averages of feed conversion ratios were calculated for layers housed in deep litter than for layers kept in battery cages, differences were significant (p≤0.05) for second, third, fourth and fifth weeks of experimental period. The results obtained from this study showed that deep litter system could provide a good managerial system then battery cages system in open-sided houses. Further large scale studies could be necessary to obtain sufficient and accurate information of different housing systems and their effects on production performance and egg characteristics.
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RUFORUM Theses and Dissertations
Khalid Mohammad El Amin; Jumaa Barram Jadalla; Dafalla Mohammed Mekki Hamid