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Effect of dietary protein programs on pullet development and egg production performance of local hens

A. S. Hussein.

Abstract
The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of dietary protein levels on pullet development and egg production performance of local hens. One hundred sixty local chicken pullets were used in this study. During the rearing period, the pullets were divided randomly at a density of 16 chicks per cage in rearing pens. During week 1, all birds werefed a starter diet containing 19% crude protein (CP). The experimental treatments consisted of two protein sequence regimens. The semi-constant protein sequence consisted of feeding the birds a 16% protein diet during weeks 2 to 14, and a 13% protein diet during weeks 15-20. The second regimen was a decreasing protein sequence (conventional method) consisting of feeding 19, 16, and 13% crude protein diets during weeks 2 through 6, 7 through 14, and 15 through 20, respectively. During the laying period, weeks 21 through 40, half of the groups in each of the protein sequence treatments were fed 19% CP and the other half 17.5% CP diets. Body weight and feed intake of the local pullets were similar in both protein sequence treatments at weeks six, fourteen, and twenty during the rearing period. During the laying period, egg production of hens fed the decreasing protein sequence during the rearing period was numerically higher than the semiconstantprotein sequence at weeks 21 through 40, but not significantly different. Body weight and feed intake were not significantly affected by the dietary protein sequence. In addition, egg weight during weeks 21-24 and 29-40 was notaffected by rearing diets, but hens fed the decreasing protein sequence diet had significantly (P

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