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African Journal of Biotechnology

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Effect of ascorbic acid supplementation level to diets of indigenous Venda hens on egg production, hatchability and subsequent productivity of chicks

Adejoke Abidemi Adesola, Jones Wilfred Ng’ambi, David Norris

Abstract


An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of ascorbic acid supplementation level to the diets of indigenous Venda hens on egg production, hatchability and subsequent productivity of the chicks. The first part of the study determined the effect of ascorbic acid supplementation level to the diets of Venda hens on feed intake, egg production, egg weight, egg content, hatchability and chick hatch-weight. Seventy five Venda hens were randomly assigned to five dietary ascorbic acid treatment levels with three replications, each having five hens. A complete randomized design was used. The treatments were A0 (0 ascorbic acid/kg DM feed), A200 (200 mg ascorbic acid/kg DM feed), A500 (500 mg ascorbic acid/kg DM feed), A1000 (1000 mg ascorbic acid/kg DM feed), A1500 (1500 mg ascorbic acid/kg DM feed). Ascorbic acid supplementation to the diets of indigenous Venda hens improved (P<0.05) egg weight, egg contents and hatchability. The second part of the study determined the effect of ascorbic acid supplementation level to the diets of Venda hens on performance of chicks between one and seven weeks of age. A total of 104 unsexed day-old chicks that hatched from the first part of the study were used according to the treatments and replicates from which they hatched. All the birds were offered the same grower feed and fresh water ad libitum. Indigenous Venda hens supplemented with ascorbic acid produced chicks with improved (P<0.05) feed intake, feed conversion ratio, growth rate and live weight at 7 weeks of age. However, ascorbic acid supplementation to the diets of indigenous Venda hens did not have any effect (P>0.05) on diet digestibility, metabolisable energy, nitrogen retention and mortality of their chickens. These results have implications on ration formulation for indigenous Venda hens.

Keywords: Indigenous Venda chickens, ascorbic acid supplementation, optimum feed intake, feed conversion ratio, growth rate, live weight, mortalit




http://dx.doi.org/10.5897/AJB11.3824
AJOL African Journals Online