Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Animal Husbandry

Major Professor

H. V. Shirley

Committee Members

R. L. Tugwell. M. B. Badenhop, R. S. Dotson


Two experiments were conducted to compare the performance of broilers on litter; wire floor, and in cages with and without light. Three-hundred and twenty birds were employed in each experiment. In Experiment I, there were four pens each of litter with light, litter without light, wire floor with light, and wire floor without light. The birds in Experiment II were in cages, half with and half without light. Observations and measurements taken included body weight; feed consumption; mortality; breast blisters; keel, hock, and toe deformity; slipped tendon; rate of feathering; bone breaking strength; meat quality; and bird activity. The weight of broilers reared in darkness in Experiment I was significantly higher than that of birds reared in light, but feed efficiency was superior for caged birds when compared with litter and wire floor birds. The incidence of breast blisters was much higher among caged birds with the males more severely affected. Lighted birds in Experi-ment I had a highly significantly lower incidence of breast blisters when compared to birds reared in darkness. Meat quality and bone breaking strength were neither effected by light regime nor by the housing systems. Hock deformity was very pronounced in males; and the incidence of crooked toes was significantly higher among male birds in light. Slipped tendon and keel deformity were highly significant among caged birds without light. Mortality in all treatments was negligible.

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