A feeding trial was conducted to determine an optimum combination of metabolizable energy (ME, kcal/kg) and crude protein (% CP) levels for the DZ-White chicken strain at the Debre-Zeit Agricultural Research Center. The experiment had three phases: starter (0-8), grower (9-14), and pullet (15-19 weeks). The experimental diets were formulated containing different levels of proteins as 19, 18 or 17, 18, 17 or 16, and 17, 16 or 15% CP for starters, growers, and pullets, respectively. Similarly, metabolizable energy was also leveled as 2900, 2750, or 2600 kcal/kg-as feed basis for both starters and growers and 2850, 2750, or 2650 kcal/kg for pullets. A total of 1260 unsexed one-day-old DZ-White chicks were randomly allocated on nine dietary treatments, with 3x3 factorial arrangements, in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). Chemical compositions of feed ingredients were analyzed and the body weight, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio were recorded. The results indicated that dietary treatments with varied levels of ME and CP showed a significant (P < 0.05) effect on the feed intake of chickens at the starter phase, but not at the grower and pullet phases. The growth performance of the chickens was significantly (P < 0.05) influenced by dietary proteins and energy in the three experimental phases. The feed conversion ratio and body weight gain were increased in diets containing 19% CP with 2900 kcal/kg of ME in growers and 17% CP with 2750 kcal/kg of ME in pullets. From this study, it can be concluded that for maximum growth and better feed utilization DZ-White chickens need a diet with 19% CP in the starter and 17% CP in grower phases each with 2900 kcal/kg of ME and 17% CP with 2750 kcal/kg of ME in pullet phase.
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