Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Wamsley, Kelley G. S.

Committee Member

Adhikari, Pratima A.

Committee Member

Moritz, Joseph S.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Poultry Science


Starter feed particle size (FPS) is typically small (~1200 µm) due to bird beak capacity (BC). Recent research has found that chicks can consume a larger FPS than previously thought; however, preferred FPS and its relationship with BC has not been established. Experiment 1 was conducted to determine the effect of breeder flock age (BFA) and feeding strategy (FS) on 0-14 d performance, BC and FPS preference. These data found that BC was dependent upon BFA and FPS consumed was dependent upon FS. Also, chicks could consume increased FPS without impacting starter performance; thus Experiment 2 was conducted to determine the effects of BFA and Starter FS on carryover performance (0-61 d), BC and processing metrics. Significant BFA differences occurred, though no FS carryover impact occurred for the measured variables. Overall, these data suggest that chicks can consume a FPS of ~2600 µm without negatively affecting starter or carryover performance.