The effects of early feeding time on growth performance, organ weight, blood biochemical, and leukocyte profile were investigated in posthatch broiler chickens to 35 d of age. From 7 to 21 d, early feeding (3 h after hatching) had a significant (p < 0.01) effect on body weight gain, and at 14 d, chicks fed 3 and 12 h after hatching were significantly heavier (p < 0.01) than those fed later. At 7 d, feed intake (FI) was significantly higher (p < 0.01) among chicks fed 3 and 12 h after hatching. At 21 d, chicks fed 3 h after hatching showed significantly higher FI (p < 0.01) than those fed later. At 3 d, gizzard weight was significantly heavier (p < 0.05) in chicks fed 24, 36, and 48 h after hatching than in those fed earlier, and small intestinal weight was also significantly higher (p < 0.05). At 35 d of age, alanine aminotransferase was higher (p < 0.01) in chicks fed 36 and 48 h after hatching, and the eosinophil level was significantly higher (p < 0.01) in chicks fed 3, 24, 36, and 48 h after hatching.
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Vol. 99 • No. 2