Effects of Adding Different Levels of Hydroponic Barley Fodder on the Productive Performance and Economic Value of Broiler Chickens

Document Type : Original Articles


Department of Animal Production, College of Agriculture, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq


The present study was conducted to disclose the impact of adding different levels of hydroponic barley fodder (HBF) on some productive features of the economic value of broilers chickens. One hundred forty-four one-day-old Ross 308 chicks were used in this study. Birds were randomly distributed into four treatments, with three replicates per each treatment (12 birds per replicate): The first treatment had no addition (T1:control). As for T2 and T3 treatments, 10% and 20% of HBF were added to the feed pellet. In T4, fresh HBF was chopped and fed as an additional free fodder. Results reflected an increase in the weekly live body weight (BW), body weight gain (BWG), feed intake (FI), and feed conversion ratio (FCR) of T2 birds; along with an improvement in the cumulative BWG, FI, and FCR of T2 and T4 during the 3rd to 5th weeks compared with the other treatments. Bacteriology and gut morphology demonstrated a decrease in total fungi, bacteria, and E. coli count with an increase in Lactobacillus count, in conjunction with an increase in the villus height and crypt depth of the jejunum of T2 birds. Economic value measures showed an increase in the production index and economic marker for broilers treated with T2 and T4. It can be concluded that there is an opportunity to include HBF by 10% or present it as freshly chopped HBF to ameliorate production performance, improve economic indicators and reduce broiler production costs by 9%.


Main Subjects

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