Response of shaver brown hens to feeds of different sources in the humid tropical environment
A twelve-week study was conducted to determine the effect of feed type on performance of Shaver brown hens in the humid tropical environment. One hundred and twenty (120) Shaverbrown hens of 28 weeks of age were used for the study.The hens were divided into five groups of 24 hens each and each group was randomly assigned to one of five experimental diets (self-compounded layers’ diet (B), and four commercial layers’ diets-A (reference diet), C, D, and E, respectively).Each diet constituted a treatment and each treatment was replicated thrice with 8 birds per replicate. Each hen in each replicate received about 130g of layers’ mash daily and ad libitum supply of water for twelve weeks. Eggs were collected daily and recorded for each hen. Results show that birds fed diet E had significantly (P<0.05) lower average daily feed intake (ADFI) value than those fed diet B,and commercial diets A, C and D, which had similar ADFI values (P>0.05). Birds fed diet B had significantly (P<0.05) less egg weight than hens fed commercial diet D. Birds fed diets B to E had similar shell thickness values (P>0.05) and these were higher (P<0.05) than the shell thickness value of hens that consumed diet A. Birds fed commercial diet D had significantly (P<0.05) higher yolk height and yolk index than those fed diet B. The dozens of eggs produced per bird, revenue from dozens of eggs produced and gross profit were not significantly (P>0.05) affected by dietary treatments. It was concluded that since none of the five diets used in feeding the Shaver brown hens was superior to the other, farmers may therefore use any of them to feed laying birds.
Keywords: Feed type, egg production, egg quality, Shaver brown hens, tropical environment