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Title: Effect of method of rearing S.C. White Leghorn chicks upon rate of growth, feed efficiency and mortality
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Title: Effect of method of rearing S.C. White Leghorn chicks upon rate of growth, feed efficiency and mortality
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Creator: Mehrhof, N. R.
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Publication Date: 1943
Copyright Date: 1943
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Volume ID: VID00001
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HISTORIC NOTE



The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida







Bulletin 394 November, 1943



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
HAROLD MOWRY, Director
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA

in cooperation with
Bureau of Animal Industry, United States Department
of Agriculture




EFFECT OF METHOD OF REARING

S. C. WHITE LEGHORN CHICKS

UPON RATE OF GROWTH, FEED

EFFICIENCY AND MORTALITY



By
N. R. MEHRHOF, W. F. WARD, and 0. K. MOORE













Single copies free to Florida residents upon request to
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA







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the University3 R. H. Gore, Fort Lauderdale
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S. O. Hill. B.S., Entomologist'
PLANT PATHOLOGY A. M. Phillips, B.S., AssEntomologist st
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Phares Decker, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path. Bradenton
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Geo. D. Thornton, M.S., Asst. 7i. 1. i 3 Cooperative, other divisions, U. of F.
R. E. Caldwell, M.S.A., Asst. .,1 -..,. 'In Military Service.
Olaf C. Olson, B.S.. Asst. Soil Surveyor' On leave.










EFFECT OF METHOD OF REARING S. C. WHITE
LEGHORN CHICKS UPON RATE OF GROWTH,
FEED EFFICIENCY AND MORTALITY1

By
N. R. MEHRHOF, W. F. WARD,2 and 0. K. MOORE 3

CONTENTS
Page
Review of Literature.... ... ........ 3
ExDerimental Procedure .............. .... ... 4
Results and Discussion ........ ............. ....... 6
Sum m ary ......-.. ... ...........- . . ...... ........ 11
Literature Cited ................... ... ...... ...... 12

Several methods of raising chicks are used by the poultry
industry for the production of broilers and pullets.
The more common methods are: (1) rearing chicks in con-
finement in cages, or in brooder houses on wire, wood, concrete
or dirt floors; (2) rearing chicks in brooder houses on wire,
wood, concrete or dirt floors, with either limited or free range.
Either method or a combination of methods is used by poultry-
men.
Information on the applicability of various rearing methods
to Florida conditions should be of value to poultrymen.
In this bulletin the comparative results of 4 methods of
brooding and rearing will be presented from the standpoint of
rate of growth of chicks, efficiency of feed utilization and inci-
dence of mortality of Single Comb White Leghorns.
The experiment was conducted at the West Central Florida
Experiment Station, Brooksville, Florida.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Charles and Knandel (3)4 reported that chicks raised in con-
finement on an all-mash diet to 16 weeks of age consumed an

1These investigations were conducted cooperatively at the West Central
Florida Station (Chinsegut Hill Sanctuary) by the Bureau of Animal In-
dustry, U. S. Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Animal
Industry, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
-'Formerly Animal Husbandman in Charge, West Central Florida
Station.
3 The authors are indebted to Dr. M. W. Emmel, Florida Agricultural
Experiment Station, and Dr. E. F. Thomas, formerly of the Florida Agri-
cultural Experiment Station, for their assistance in conducting this experi-
ment. The authors are also indebted to W. T. Morgan and Miss Lillie
Brummerhof, who managed the birds in this experiment.
Italic figures in parentheses refer to "Literature Cited" in the back
of this bulletin.







4 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

average of 10.90 pounds of mash per bird and weighed an aver-
age of 2.40 pounds per pullet. Mortality was 18.24 percent.
They enumerated a number of advantages resulting from con-
finement-rearing of chicks. Buckner, Martin, and Insko (1)
compared 3 methods of raising chicks: first, chicks kept in a
colony brooder house with access to blue grass range and direct
sunlight; second, chicks kept in the battery brooder the first
3 weeks and then transferred to the colony brooder house;
third, chicks kept in the battery brooder during the first 22
weeks. The authors concluded that there were no great differ-
ences in rates of growth of the chickens raised. Hinds (5)
compared different methods of confinement brooding, using
brooder houses with concrete floor and concrete porch, wire floor
and wire porch, and concrete floor with outside run. Results
indicated little difference in rate of growth between lots.
Mortality to 18 weeks of age was as follows: Using concrete
floor and porch, 16.97 percent; wire floor and wire porch, 25.59
percent; and concrete floor and outside run, 16.12 percent.
Hinds also reported on the rate of growth of chicks held in
batteries 2, 4 and 6 weeks and then reared in a colony brooder
house, and chicks started and reared in colony brooder house.
Largest gains to 18 weeks of age were with the birds started
in the colony house, followed by chicks held 2, 4 and 6 weeks in
batteries and then reared in colony houses.
Callenbach, Nicholas and Margolf (2) stated that Barred
Plymouth Rock pullets brooded in batteries were superior to
those brooded on the floor on the basis of growth and efficiency
of feed consumption up to 10 weeks of age. This was not true
for the Single Comb White Leghorns.
Funk, Knandel and Callenbach (4) reported that variation
in the growth of Single Comb White Leghorn chicks is not
constant.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
The methods of brooding and rearing chicks used in these
trials were as follows: In Lot I, chicks were confined to chick
and growing batteries for the entire 20-week experimental
period. Chicks in Lot II were kept in a wire-floored brooder
house with a wire-floored sun-parlor for the duration of each
trial. Chicks in Lot III were raised on a wooden floor and had
access to "clean land". Chicks in Lot IV were brooded on a
wooden floor and had access to "used land". Chicks in Lots
II, III and IV were supplied heat with electric canopy type







Method of Rearing S. C. White Leghorn Chicks 5

brooders. Chicks in Lots III and IV were transferred from the
brooder houses to range shelters at the same time in each trial.
The term "clean land" in these trials means land free of
chickens and poultry manure for a period of 2 years or longer.
"Used land" means land occupied by chickens over a period of
years, with little or no time when the land was idle.
The 3 brooder houses were similar in size and construction,
with the exception of the house used by the chicks in Lot II
which had a wire floor about 6 or 8 inches above the wooden
floor. The wire-floored sun-parlor was raised off the ground
and was the same size as the brooder house.
Each of the 4 trials was conducted during a different year,
the starting dates varying from March 29 to April 30 each
year. In trials 1 and 2 the starting date was April 7; trial 3,
March 29; trial 4, Lots I and II, March 31, and Lots III and IV,
April 30. In trial 4, Lots I and II were reared during 1 year,
while Lots III and IV were reared the following year.
A total of 2,797 Single Comb White Leghorn chicks were
used in the 4 trials. All chicks in each trial came from the
same source. The chicks were weighed at the start of each
trial and each week thereafter. The number of chicks started
in each trial is shown in Table 1.

TABLE 1.-NUMBER OF CHICKS STARTED, BY METHODS.
Lot I Lot II Lot III Lot IV
Method Battery Brooder Sun-Parlor Clean Land Used Land
trial no. chicks no. chicks no. chicks no. chicks
1 258 225 225 225
2 252 250 251 250
3 133 132 133 133
4 100 100 65 65
Total 743 707 674 673
All chicks received the same ration throughout the experi-
ment. The mash was available in open hoppers at all times.
Feed consumption was recorded at weekly intervals.
The all-mash ration used in this experiment was composed
of the following ingredients:
Parts by weight
Yellow corn meal ..........- .... ---...-.. ------ ...- ...-- .. ...-- .. 39.0
W heat middlings --......... .... ...... ............ ......... 20.0
W heat bran ..........-..-----.. ..........----------....... 18.0
Alfalfa leaf meal --.......--............ ............... ..... 5.0
Dried buttermilk ..-- ----........--.. ..... ....------ .. .......... 5.0
Fish meal --........ -----.......-. -.. ............. ....---------......... 5.0
Meat and bone meal ...............-...... -----... ......... 4.5
Oyster shell (fine) ......-----.......-------------- 2.5
Salt .... ... ---------------------- 1.0








6 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

Cod liver oil was added to the ration at the rate of 1.5 percent.
The composition of the ration was as follows:
Crude protein ......-....-.. ....--- ..-----........- ... 17.8 percent
Crude fat .....--------... ........------...--.. ..--... .. 4.8
Crude fiber .............---- .. ................. ... -- 4.8
Nitrogen-free extract ......-- ...........----................ 53.1
Ash ..--...................----.....-- ..------.. -.... ....... 8.1
W after ...............- ...... ...... ..... .. ...... 11.4

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The average weekly weights of chicks and pullets are given
in Table 2 according to methods of brooding and rearing. These
figures were obtained by taking averages of the weights of
chicks by methods for the 4 trials, except during the 19th and
20th weeks in Lots III and IV which is for 3 trials. The weights
of pullets were not obtained at the time of separation from
cockerels.

TABLE 2.-WEEKLY WEIGHTS OF CHICKS IN POUNDS, BY METHODS*.
Lot I Lot II Lot III Lot IV
Method Battery Brooder Sun-Parlor Clean Land Used Land
week pounds pounds pounds pounds
0 0.08 0.07 0.08 0.08
1 0.13 0.14 0.13 0.13
2 0.26 0.21 0.21 0.20
3 0.34 0.32 0.32 0.30
4 0.48 0.41 0.44 0.42
5 0.64 0.58 0.59 0.61
6 0.80 0.72 0.69 0.69
7 0.89 0.86 0.86 0.89
8 1.10 1.04 0.99 1.03
9 1.22 1.23 1.11 1.18
10 1.45 1.37 1.28 1.33
11 1.63 1.56 1.50 1.56
Pullets only

12 1.72 1.71 1.67 1.76
13 1.92 1.87 1.85 1.96
14 2.06 1.96 2.02 2.11
15 2.14 2.14 2.14 2.14
16 2.24 2.21 2.21 2.26
17 2.33 2.32 2.29 2.33
18 2.46 2.45 2.37 2.31
19 2.58 2.57 2.43** 2.38**
20 2.65 2.65 2.56** 2.46**
Average of the 4 trials.
** Average of 3 trials.

The highest percentage of gain was made during the first
few weeks. The chicks in all 4 lots more than doubled their
initial weight by the end of the second week. Table 3 gives
the percent of growth of lots at 4-week intervals. The data in






Method of Rearing S. C. White Leghorn Chicks 7

this table, grouped by 4-week intervals, indicate that on the
average about 14 percent of the chick weight to 20 weeks of
age was attained in the first 4-week interval, 23 percent in the
second, 27 percent in the third, 20 percent in the fourth, and
14 percent in the fifth 4-week interval.

TABLE 3.-CUMULATIVE RATE OF GROWTH OF CHICKS AT 4-WEEK
INTERVALS, BY METHODS.
S Lot I Lot II Lot III Lot IV
Method Battery Brooder Sun-Parlor Clean Land Used Land
week | percent percent percent percent
0 2.8 2.8 3.0 3.1
4 18.0 15.6 17.3 17.1
8 41.5 39.2 38.7 42.0
12 64.9 64.6 65.3 71.4
16 84.6 83.6 86.2 91.8
20 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0


Variation in rate of growth by lots is indicated in Table 4.
The lot of chicks weighing the most at 4-week intervals was
considered to be equal to 100 and the other lots were given a
percentage of this rating.
At 4 weeks of age chicks raised in battery brooders weighed
6.7, 11.6 and 13.3 percent more than chicks raised on "clean
land", "used land" and in sun-parlor, respectively. At 8 weeks,
the chicks in battery brooders weighed 5.6, 6.6 and 9.7 percent
more, respectively, than did the chicks in sun-parlor, "used
land" or "clean land". At 12 and 16 weeks the chicks on "used
land" were heaviest, followed by those raised in the battery
brooder, in sun-parlor and on "clean land."
The chicks in the sun-parlor at 20 weeks of age were 0.1,
3.3 and 7.2 percent heavier, respectively, than the chicks raised
in battery brooders, on "clean land" and on "used land".

TABLE 4.-RELATIVE PERCENT WEIGHT OF CHICKS AT 4-WEEK
INTERVALS, BY METHODS.
Lot I Lot II Lot III Lot IV
Method Battery Brooder Sun-Parlor Clean Land Used Land
week | percent percent percent percent
0 98.7 96.1 100.0 100.0
4 100.0 86.7 93.3 88.4
8 100.0 94.4 90.3 93.4
12 97.8 97.4 95.3 100.0
16 97.8 97.4 95.3 100.0
20 99.9 100.0 96.7 92.8






8 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

At 20 weeks of age sun-parlor raised pullets averaged 2.65
pounds in weight; battery pullets 2.65 pounds; "clean land"
pullets 2.56 pounds; and "used land" pullets 2.46 pounds (Table
2). Figure 1 represents growth curves of the birds for the 20-
week period.



2.4- /






1.6-













Fig. 1.-Rate of growth of chicks at 4-week intervals by methods.

Weekly cumulative feed consumption per chick is enumerated
in Table 5. The average feed consumption per bird to 20 weeks
of age was 16.79 pounds for "clean land"; 18.13 pounds for
"used land"; 18.24 pounds for battery brooder; and 19.36
pounds for sun-parlor. Average feed consumption for all lots
to 20 weeks of age was 18.1 pounds. Average feed consumption
during each 4-week interval for the 20-week period was about
1%, 3, 4, 5 and 5 pounds successively.
Table 6 gives the cumulative percent of feed consumption
during each 4-week interval for the 4 lots in relation to total
feed consumption at 20 weeks of age.







Method of Rearing S. C. White Leghorn Chicks 9

TABLE 5.-CUMULATIVE FEED CONSUMPTION PER CHICK BY WEEKS AND
BY METHODS. (AVERAGE OF 4 TRIALS.)
Lot I Lot II Lot III Lot IV
Method Battery Brooder Sun-Parlor Clean Land Used Land
week pounds pounds pounds pounds
1 0.16 0.17 0.15 0.15
2 0.44 0.51 0.45 0.42
3 0.79 0.89 0.83 0.80
4 1.33 1.36 1.24 1.26
5 1.99 2.05 1.86 1.94
6 2.65 2.73 2.47 2.57
7 3.41 3.53 3.24 3.48
8 4.21 4.38 4.08 4.40
9 5.17 5.43 4.97 5.32
10 6.25 6.53 5.98 6.41
11 7.22 7.54 6.89 7.26
12 8.26 8.69 7.87 8.35
13 9.43 9.94 9.05 9.66
14 10.65 11.21 10.38 11.07
15 11.79 12.54 11.58 12.45
16 13.01 13.80 12.74 13.71
17 14.30 15.19 13.98 14.89
18 15.52 16.57 15.22 16.07
19 16.77 18.03 15.98 16.67
20 I 18.24 19.36 16.79 18.13


TABLE 6.-CUMULATIVE PERCENT OF TOTAL FEED CONSUMPTION PER CHICK
AT 4-WEEK INTERVALS, BY METHODS. (AVERAGE OF 4 TRIALS.)
Lot I Lot II Lot III Lot IV
Method Battery Brooder Sun-Parlor Clean Land Used Land
week percent percent percent percent
0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
4 7.3 7.0 7.4 7.0
8 23.1 22.6 24.3 24.3
12 45.3 44.9 46.9 46.0
16 71.3 71.3 75.9 75.7
20 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Using average figures for all lots, 7.2 percent of the feed was
consumed during the first 4 weeks, 16.4 percent from 5 through
8 weeks, 22.2 percent from 9 through 12 weeks, 27.8 percent
from 13 through 16 weeks, and 26.4 percent from 17 through
20 weeks.
The data in Table 7 give a comparison of the feed consumed
by lots at 4-week intervals. In general, feed consumption was
relatively uniform throughout the 20-week experimental period.
The widest range in feed consumption by lots was 13.3 percent
for the last 4-week interval. The chicks raised on "clean land"
consistently consumed less feed than the other lots. The chicks
raised in the sun-parlor consumed the largest quantity of feed.







10 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

TABLE 7.-RELATIVE PERCENT FEED INTAKE AT 4-WEEK INTERVALS,
BY METHODS.

Lot I Lot II Lot III Lot IV
Method Battery Brooder Sun-Parlor Clean Land Used Land
week percent percent percent percent
0
4 97.9 100.0 91.4 92.9
8 95.7 99.5 92.6 100 )
12 95.0 100.0 90.6 Pi 0
16 100.0 94.3 92.4 99.4
20 94.2 100.0 86.7 93.6


In Table 8 the pounds of feed required to produce a pound
of gain for each of the 4 methods is given at weekly intervals.
It will be noted that as the bird becomes older more feed is
required per pound of gain.

TABLE 8.-POUNDS OF FEED REQUIRED TO PRODUCE 1 POUND OF GAIN AT
WEEKLY INTERVALS, BY METHODS. (AVERAGE OF 4 TRIALS.)
Lot I Lot II Lot III Lot IV
Method Battery Brooder Sun-Parlor Clean Land Used Land
week pounds pounds pounds pounds
1 2.82 2.69 2.90 3.04
2 2.45 3.66 3.39 3.26
3 3.00 3.61 3.41 3.63
4 3.33 4.01 3.38 3.67
5 3.49 4.07 3.62 3.64
6 3.66 4.24 4.01 4.18
7 4.16 4.50 4.15 4.26
8 4.12 4.54 4.45 4.60
9 4.52 4.71 4.83 4.81
10 4.56 5.03 4.98 5.11
11 4.65 5.07 4.83 1 4.89
12 5.03 5.31 4.93 4.97
13 5.10 5.54 5.11 5.14
14 5.38 5.93 5.35 5.43
15 5.70 6.06 5.61 6.04
16 6.01 6.44 5.98 6.29
17 6.35 6.77 6.31 6.62
18 6.49 6.98 6.63 7.18
19 6.70 7.23 6.62 7.25
20 7.09 7.52 6.75 7.61


During the first 8 weeks the battery-raised birds consumed
0.48 pounds of feed per pound of gain less than the "used land"
birds. From 12 to 20 weeks the birds on "clean land" were
more efficient consumers of feed, except for the 18th week, when
the birds in battery brooders were the most efficient. For the
entire 20-week experimental period the number of pounds of






Method of Rearing S. C. White Leghorn Chicks 11

feed to produce 1 pound of gain was as follows: Lot III, "clean
land", 6.75; Lot I, battery, 7.09; Lot II, sun-parlor, 7.52; and
Lot IV, "used land", 7.61.
Mortality expressed in percent is given in Table 9 for the
chicks raised by the 4 methods for all trials.

TABLE 9.-PERCENT WEEKLY MORTALITY, BY METHODS, BASED ON NUMBER
or LIVE BIRDS AT START OF EACH WEEK. (AVERAGE OF 4 TRIALS.)
Lot I I Lot II Lot III Lot IV
Method Battery Brooder Sun-Parlor Clean Land Used Land
week percent percent percent percent
1 6.55 12.17 6.18 11.05
2 2.62 6.53 3.06 6.35
3 0.51 1.53 0.81 3.82
4 0.21 1.94 1.15 1.87
5 0.31 0.63 3.06 2.18
6 0.94 0.13 2.78 0.83
7 0.98 0.00 3.40 2.96
8 1.47 1.14 2.04 1.45
9 1.30 2.64 0.76 1.42
10 0.22 0.87 0.30 0.00
11 0.37 0.74 0.62 0.28
12 1.80 0.26 0.24 0.00
13 1.33 0.53 0.79 0.93
14 0.00 0.81 0.00 1.37
15 0.83 0.27 0.80 0.33
16 0.66 0.00 0.00 0.00
17 0.46 0.44 1.33 0.68
18 I 2.52 1.21 0.00 0.00
19 j 2.77 0.77 0.58 0.00
20 i 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

Total* 17.36 26.87 24.48 30.16

Based on total number of chicks started.

The highest percentage of mortality occurred during the first
few weeks of brooding, especially during the first week. Aver-
age mortality for the 4 trials was 26.87 percent for sun-parlor;
17.36 percent for battery; 24.48 percent for "clean land"; and
30.16 percent for "used land".

SUMMARY
Four methods of brooding Single Comb White Leghorn chicks
and rearing pullets to 20 weeks of age were compared. These
methods were: Battery brooder, wire floored brooder house
with a wire floored sun-parlor attached, wooden floor in a
brooder house with provision for access to "clean land", wooden
floor in a brooder house with provision for chicks to range on
"used land".






12 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

At 20 weeks of age sun-parlor pullets averaged 2.65 pounds
in weight, battery pullets 2.65 pounds, "clean land" pullets 2.56
pounds and "used land" pullets 2.46 pounds.
"Clean land" chicks consistently consumed less feed than the
other lots. Sun-parlor reared chicks consumed the largest
quantity of feed. For the entire 20-week period chicks reared
on "clean land" were the most efficient, with an efficiency rating
of 6.75; followed by battery brooder pullets, 7.09; sun-parlor
pullets 7.52; and "used land" pullets, 7.61.
Average mortality by methods for the 4 trials was 26.87 per-
cent for sun-parlor; 17.36 percent for battery; 24.48 percent
for "clean land"; and 30.16 percent for "used land".
The largest percentage gain was made during the first few
weeks of growth. All chicks more than doubled their initial
weight by the end of the second week. Approximately 14 per-
cent of the bird's weight at 20 weeks of age was acquired during
the first 4 weeks of life, 23 percent was acquired from 5 through
8 weeks, 27 percent from 9 through 12 weeks, 20 percent from
13 through 16 weeks, and 14 percent from 17 through 20 weeks.
During the first 4 weeks feed consumption per chick was
approximately 11/3 pounds; 5 through 8 weeks 3 pounds; 9
through 12 weeks 4 pounds; 13 through 16 weeks 5 pounds;
and 17 through 20 weeks 5 pounds.
From the standpoint of pounds of feed per pound of gain
and rate of mortality, chicks raised on "used land" were inferior
to the chicks raised in battery brooders, in sun-parlor or on
"clean land".

LITERATURE CITED
1. BUCKNER, G. DAVIS, J. HOLMES MARTIN and W. M. INSKO, JR. The
effect of confinement brooding on growth and egg production. Ky.
Agr. Exp. Sta. Res. Bul. 346: 16 pp. 1934.
2. CALLENBACH, E. W., J. E. NICHOLAS and P. H. MARGOLF. Poultry
brooding systems. Penn. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 340: 40 pp. 1937.
3. CHARLES, T. B., and H. C. KNANDEL. Rearing chicks in confinement.
Penn. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 218: 12 pp. 1928.
4. FUNK, E. M., H. C. KNANDEL and E. W. CALLENBACH. Statistical
studies of the variations in the growth of Single Comb White Leghorns
and their significance. Poultry Sci. 9: 157-163. 1930.
5. HINDS, H. B. Confinement rearing -Part II. Ariz. Agr. Exp. Sta.
Bul. 159: 177-182. 1937.





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