PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS OF GROWING PULLETS FED CASSAVA ROOT-BASED DIETS
A 13-week study was carried out to investigate the potentials of peeled and unpeeled cassava roots as a substitute for maize in layers ration. Unpeeled cassava root meal was used at 3 levels of inclusion (25%, 50% and 100%) while the peeled cassava meal was used only at 25% level of inclusion in the diet. A total of 140 black harco pullets were randomly allotted to 5 experimental diets in line with cassava root meal inclusion as diet 1 (control diet without cassava root), diet 2 (25% unpeeled cassava root meal), diet 3 (50% unpeeled cassava root meal), diet 4 (100% unpeeled cassava root meal) and diet 5 (25% peeled cassava root meal). The study lasted for 13 weeks. No significant difference (p<0.05) were observed in the values obtained across the treatment groups for feed intake. Birds that were fed with 100% unpeeled cassava meal (diet 4) had significantly lowered body weight gain when compared with birds that were fed with diets 1, 2, 3 and 5 which had similar values. No significant difference was observed in the feed conversion ratio of birds fed with diets 1,2,3 and 5 but these values were significantly lower that the value for diet 4. Other performance indices like age at first egg and hen day production at 24 weeks were not affected by cassava root meal inclusion in the diets. The cost of producing feed using cassava root meal was however cheaper than maize based diet.
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