Background and Objective: Slow-growing broilers are well adapted to tropical climate but have poor growth performance and feed efficiency. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of feeding strategy on production efficiency and welfare behavior of slow-growing broilers in the tropics. Materials and Methods: A total of 390 Sasso broiler chickens of 14 days old were divided into three groups of five replicates with 26 chicken per replicate: birds in group A (as control) fed complete diet, birds in group B fed diets with variation in energy content and in group C birds fed diet with energy and protein contents. Feeding behavior at 10 weeks of age and carcass evaluation, abdominal fat and meat pH at 11 weeks of age were evaluated. Results: Results showed that feed intake, energy intake, growth rate and body weight were higher (p<0.05) in broiler chickens of group A compared to those of groups B and C. Protein intake, thigh weight, mortality, feed cost per chicken were similar among all treatment groups (p>0.05). However, birds fed sequentially showed lower abdominal fat, feed conversion ratio and higher economic feed efficiency (p<0.05). In addition, they showed positive welfare behavior under tropical condition. Moreover, carcass weight increased (p<0.05) in birds of groups A and B. The meat pH decreased more rapidly in groups A and C compared to group B. Conclusion: It was concluded that the variation of the energy level of diet can be used as a feeding strategy for slow growing broilers in the tropics.
KPOMASSE Claude, NIDEOU Dassidi, EDIKOU Spero, HOUNDONOUGBO Frédéric and TONA Kokou, 2023. Feeding Strategies for Slow-Growing Broilers in the Tropics: Production Efficiency and Welfare Behavior. International Journal of Poultry Science, 22: 99-107.