Cassava root meal, broiler chicken, feed intake, growth, organ weight, and haematological parameters
Ninety (90) day old broiler chicks were used to investigate the response of broilers fed sun-dried cassava root meal (CRM). Five diets at starter and finisher phases in which CRM replaced maize at 0, 25, 50, 75 and 100% and designated T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 respectively. Diets were allocated to day old broiler chicks in a completely randomized design (CRD). Birds were raised on dip-litter system and the experiment lasted for eight (8) weeks. Feed intake was taken daily, while body weights were recorded weekly. On days 22 and 44 two millilitres (2ml) of blood were collected using sterile syringe and needle from the wing vein into vacutainer tubes containing 2mg ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA) as anticoagulant from two birds in each replicate. At eight weeks of age, two birds per replicate were randomly selected and used for carcass analysis. At the starter phase, final weight, daily weight gain and feed intake were significantly (P<0.05) higher in T1 and T2 compared to other treatments. Feed conversion efficiency tend to increase as the inclusion level of CRM increased at (P<0.05). No significant difference (P>0.05) was observed among the treatments for haematological parameters (PCV, Hb, MCHC and Total Protein). Highest mortality at starter and finisher phases were recorded in T4 and T5. Generally, there was decrease in feed intake as the inclusion level of CRM increased. Inclusion of CRM at finisher phase significantly affects the weight of some internal organs in T2, T3 and T4 (P<0.05). It is concluded that cassava root meal could be used to replace maize up to 25% without any adverse effect on the performance of broiler chicken.