The floor density required for optimal growth performance of different avian species and varieties is highly variable. Little is known of the required floor density for optimum performance of the French guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) broiler. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of varying floor densities on growth performance and carcass characteristics of the French guinea broiler. In 3 replicates, 687 one-day-old French guinea keets were weighed individually and randomly assigned to floor pens covered with pine wood shavings at 69, 60, 53, and 47 birds/pen, equivalent to densities of 15.6, 13.6, 12, and 10.7 birds/m2, respectively. Birds in these floor densities were allowed feeder space of 2.7, 3.1, 3.5, and 4 cm/bird, respectively, and water space of 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, and 2.0 cm/bird, respectively. All birds received a 23-h lighting regimen and were fed the same diet comprising 3,100 kcal of ME/kg of diet and 23% CP from 1 d old to 4 wk of age (WOA) and 3,150 kcal of ME/kg of diet and 21% CP at 5 to 8 WOA. Feed and water were provided for ad libitum consumption. Body weight and feed consumption were measured weekly, whereas carcass characteristics were evaluated at 8 WOA. Overall, feed consumption was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in birds raised in 10.7 birds/m2 than other treatment groups. Birds in floor densities of 12 and 15.6 birds/m2 also consumed 6% more feed than those raised at 13.6 birds/m2. Mean BW gain of birds in floor density of 15.6 birds/m2 was significantly lower (P < 0.05) than that of birds in other floor densities. In general, significantly lower feed conversion ratios and higher carcass yields were observed in birds raised in floor densities of 13.6 and 12 birds/m2 than those raised in floor densities of 15.6 and 10.7 birds/m2. Therefore, French guinea broilers exhibited superior performance when raised at floor densities of 13.6 and 12 birds/m2 than those reared at floor densities of 15.6 and 10.7 birds/m2.
S.N. Nahashon, N. Adefope, A. Amenyenu, J. Tyus, D. Wright, "The effect of floor density on growth performance and carcass characteristics of French guinea broilers", Poultry Science, Volume 88, Issue 11, 2009, Pages 2461-2467, ISSN 0032-5791, https://doi.org/10.3382/ps.2008-00514.