Effect of management system and dietary yeast autolysate on the performance, slaughter and carcass characteristics of partridges (Alectoris chukar)

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Bolacali M., Kucuk M., Tufan T., Aslan L.

SOUTH AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE, vol.48, no.2, pp.344-352, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.4314/sajas.v48i2.15
  • Page Numbers: pp.344-352


This study was conducted to determine the effects of management system (a floor housing (FH) versus a free-range housing (FRH) system) and dietary yeast autolysate (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) (1% versus 2% dietary supplement) on the performance, slaughter and carcass characteristics of partridges (Alectoris chukar). A total of 480 (240 for each management system) one-day-old male partridge chicks were randomly allocated to a control group and the two dietary groups per production system, each containing 80 chicks. Each dietary group was then divided into five replicate groups of 16 chicks. The study lasted 112 days. In terms of growth performance, partridges reared under FRH management system had a lower average daily live weight gain (ADG), a significantly higher feed intake (FI), and feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared to the control group. However, partridges fed diets with yeast autolysate had a significantly higher ADG, lower FI, and an improved FCR compared to the control group overall. The gizzard, leg, and wing percentages of the partridges reared in the FRH system were found to be significantly higher than those of partridges reared in the FH system, while the breast and abdominal fat percentages were found to be lower. Dietary supplementation with yeast autolysate significantly increased the cold carcass yield and breast percentage when compared to the control group, while wing and abdominal fat percentages were decreased. In general, best performance was observed in the dietary supplementation group of 1% yeast autolysate in terms of growth and carcass parameters. When considering the fact that partridges are gamebirds, that housing poultry in cage production systems has been prohibited in recent years and that there are positive effects associated with using yeast autolysate as a prebiotic, it is recommended that a free-range production system should be used for partridge breeding, with the addition of 1% yeast autolysate to the diet of the birds.