Performance of growing japanese quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) fed different levels of peeled cooked sun-dried sweet potato (Ipomea batatas) meal diets
A six –week feeding trial was set up to investigate the effect of feeding peeled, cooked, sundried sweet potato tuber meal on growth parameters and digestibility of nutrients by Japanese quail chicks. Five isonitrogenous (25%CP) diets were compounded. The control diet (A) had zero sweet potato tuber meal. In the other four diets (B, C, D, and E), 25, 50, 75 and 100% of maize (respectively) was replaced by peeled, cooked, sundried sweet potato tuber meal. Sixty birds were randomly assigned to each diet in a completely randomized design. The diets were replicated three times with twenty birds per replicate. Feed and water were given ad libitum. Parameters measured were feed intake, water intake, body weight gain, feed conversion ratio, and feed cost/gain. Others were protein intake and energy intake in the course of the study. Feed intake was significantly (p˂0.05) lower on diet C (14.05g/bird/day) than on diets D (14.87 g/bird/day) and E (14.79g/bird/day). Other differences were not significant. Water intake was significantly (p˂0.05) higher on diet D (27.40ml/bird/day) than on diets A (23.77 ml/bird/day), B (24.01 ml/bird/day) and C (24.66ml/b/d). Other differences were not significant. Protein intake was significantly (p˂0.05) higher on diet D (3.72g) than on diets A (3.55g), B (3.54g) and C (3.51g). Differences between diets D and E were not significant. None of the other parameters (weight gain, feed conversion ratio, feed cost/gain, energy intake) measured in the course of the study differed significantly (p˃0.05) from the control. Apparent digestibility of dry matter was significantly better (p˂0.05) by birds on diet A (control) than by birds on the sweet potato meal diets. Digestibility of crude protein was significantly better (p˂0.05) by birds on diet C than by those on diets A, B and E. Ether extract digestibility was significantly better by birds on diet E than by those on the control and other sweet potato diets. There was one hundred percent survivability as none of the birds died in the course of the study. Results of this study show that peeled cooked sundried sweet potato can completely replace maize in the diet of quail chicks without adverse effects on performance or on digestibility of nutrients.
Key words: Japanese quail, sweet potato, feed intake, energy intake, digestibility