Objective: This experiment studied the effects of first feed intake time post-hatch on growth performance, nutrient apparent metabolic rate and intestinal digestive enzyme activities in broilers. Methods: Two thousand five hundred and twenty LingNan Yellow broilers were randomly allotted to seven treatments with six replicates of 60 each. The only experimental factor was the first feed intake time which was 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, and 54 hours after hatching. The whole experiment lasted for 21 days. Results: During the whole period, the 30 h treatment had the best body weight and average daily gain (p<0.05), followed by the 24 h group performance optimization. Also, the 30 h group was observed to have the best apparent metabolic rate for ether extract (p<0.05) and crude protein (p<0.05) and the highest activities of amylase, lipase and trypsin in small intestine. And the 24 h group was second only to the 30 h group in terms of the above two measures. Conclusion: These results indicated that the appropriate first feeding time of LingNan Yellow broilers was 24 to 30 hours after hatching.
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