OpenFields

Quantifying hungry broiler breeder preferences using a closed economy T-maze task

This study aimed to identify hungry broiler breeders’ preferences for quantitative or qualitative dietary restriction in a closed economy environment

Year of Publication2010

This study aimed to identify hungry broiler breeders’ preferences for quantitative or qualitative dietary restriction (QDR) in a closed economy environment. The QDR option was the control diet with the addition of either 3g Calcium Propionate/kg total feed or 300g oat hulls/kg total feed. Control and QDR portions ensured equal growth, regardless of choice. Each bird was initially trained with a control diet versus no food task and a QDR diet versus no food task to allow birds to learn the satiating properties of each diet. Birds had to associate the T-maze coloured arms with dietary outcomes to immediately obtain food. Birds learnt this task easily. A choice between the QDR diet and the control diet was then offered but neither group demonstrated a diet preference. Study modifications demonstrated this was not a failure to discriminate between the diets per se or novel colour combination confusion. Most birds still failed to show a significant preference when the control diet quantity was increased by 50% to make it “obviously” bigger and more desirable. Therefore it was concluded that the failure to show a dietary preference was due to task learning failure and not lack of dietary preference. Possible reasons for this failure are discussed.

This item is categorised as follows

Additional keywords/tags

Organisation Logo for Harper Adams University

Supporting the development of the national rural economy.

Website

What Next...?

This is a brief summary of an item in the OpenFields Library. This free online library contains items of interest to practitioners and researchers in the agricultural and landbased industries.