Growth and carcass characteristics of broiler chickens fed water soaked and cooked velvet bean (Mucuna utilis) meal
AbstractA 56-day feeding trial was conducted to determine the effects of dietary raw and soaked and cooked velvet beans, Mucuna utilis on the performance of broiler chickens. Two batches of raw Mucuna seeds
were used. The first batch of seeds was used raw. The second batch was soaked for 24 h, subdivided into four parts and cooked for 0, 20, 40 and 60 min before sun-drying and milling. All the meals were analyzed for their proximate composition and included in the test diets at 20% dietary levels. The control diet contained no Mucuna meal. One hundred and eighty, 7 –day old Anak(R) broiler chicks were randomly assigned to six dietary treatments in a completely randomized design and replicated three times. At 20% dietary level, raw M. utilis seed meal significantly (P<0.05) depressed the performance of the birds in terms of feed intake, growth rate and feed conversion ratio. Consumption of soaked Mucuna seed meal reduced body weight gain similar to the raw Mucuna seed meal diet. However, soaking and cooking the seeds for 1 h allowed the birds to efficiently (P<0.05) utilize the feed comparable to the maize-soybean control diet. Weight of the gizzard, pancrease, liver, proventriculus as well as the lengths of small and large intestine and the caeca increased in birds fed the raw Mucuna seed meal diet. Most of these effects were partially or completely reversed by soaking and cooking Mucuna seed for 1 h.