Poultry production has the potentials to contribute meaningfully to the economic growth of any country. In Nigeria for instance, the poultry subsector has contributed greatly to the improvement of the national economy in terms of job creation, Gross Domestic Products as well as food security. This is evident in as high as 10% of Nigerians directly engaged in the supply of poultry inputs, establishment of hatcheries, feed mills, farms and cottage industries producing egg, meat and their products. Broilers are known for their efficient feed conversion into essential nutrients required by man. According to Wilson (2005), broiler has the capability to attain table weight of 2.0kg in 33days. However, this depends on the genetic makeup of the strain, housing standard, feed quality and management strategy adopted.
Feed represents 70% of the total costs in poultry production(Willemsetal., 2013). Adlibitum feeding have led to the increase in growth rates in poultry; unfortunately this high growth rate is associated increased body fat deposition, high mortality and high incidence of metabolic and skeletal diseases which has negative impact on broilers (Zubaire tal, 2006). Therefore, there is a critical need to increase effort to reduce some of these problems and reduced feed cost (Sarvestani, 2006).
Quatitative feed restriction has been found to reduce body weight (Fattorietal., 1993) and delay sexual maturity (Krishnappa et al, 1992). Feed restriction, which is denying the fast growing bird a full access to nutrients that are required for their normal growth and development, is categorised into quantitative and qualitative feed restriction (Fanooci and Torki., 2010). The potential of feed restriction programs as management tool is related to decreasing the incidence of metabolic disease, carcass fat deposition, reduce maintenance requirements and improvement of feed efficiency in broiler chicken production (Johnson and Yamamoto., 2010).
Feed restriction is a conventional strategy employed in modern broiler breeder industry to lessen fat accretion and avoid reproduction and health complication but not in modern meat industry where feeding is ad libitum. However, ad libitum feeding has been implicated in mortality and health problems such as ascites, tiabialdyschondroplasia, necrosis of the femoral head, angular and torsional long bone deformities, perosis, spinal deformities, obesity and sudden death syndrome (Oyedeji and Atteh 2005).