The Effect of Inclusion Rate of Cooked and Sun-dried Fish Offal Meal on Feed Intake, Growth and Feed Efficiency of Rhode Island Red Chicks
The effects of feeding cooked and sun-dried fish offal meal (fishmeal) on feed intake, weight gain and feed conversion efficiency of RIR chicks were assessed at Wolayta Soddo, southern Ethiopia. Unsexed day-old RIR chicks (300) were brooded uniformly for 14 days and then vaccinated against Gumboro and Newcastle diseases. A feeding trial with 6 dietary groups, 5 replicates each and 10 chicks per replicate was run for 11 weeks and daily feed intake and weekly individual body weights were recorded. The control diet (T1) consisted of Fishmeal (0%), Maize (34.1%), wheat short+bran (21.0%), limestone (1.20%), salt (0.5%), premix (0.1%), lysine (0.05%), methioinine (0.05%), roasted soybean (27.0%) and noug cake (16.0%); the rest of the diets contained ingredients in the control plus fishmeal included at rates of 3.32%(T2), 6.64%(T3), 9.96%(T4), 13.28%(T5), and 16.6%(T6) of the diet replacing 7.6, 15.3, 22.9, 30.5 and 38.2% of the protein of the control diet. T1, T2, T3, T4, T5 and T6 had 19.76, 18.89, 19.82, 18.44, 18.96 and 19.20 % CP, respectively. Chicks fed T1 had the lowest (p<0.001) daily intakes (68.5 g DM, 13.3 g CP, 0.54 g Ca, 0.35 g P and 231kcal ME head-1) but those on T6 had the highest daily intakes (77 g DM, 14.8 g CP, 1.81 g Ca, 0.58 g P and 243 kcal ME head-1). Other groups fell in between these ranges. Higher (p<0.01) mean daily body weight gains (MDBWG) were observed in fishmeal groups compared to the control. The MDBWG of T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, and T6 were 10.65 g, 13.14 g, 12.82 g, 13.46 g, 13.2 g, and 12.78 g head-1. MDBWG was significantly (p<0.01) and positively affected by the age of the chicken up to 2.5 to 3 months but it declined from then onwards. Fishmeal groups utilized feed [6.03(T2), 6.12(T3), 5.83(T4), 6.03(T5) and 6.35(T6) g feed/g MDBWG] more efficiently (p<0.01) than the control group (6.79 g feed/g MDBWG, T1). The feed conversion ratio decreased with advance in age. Differences in protein efficiency ratios (PER) were highly significant (p<0.001) between fishmeal groups (1.025, 0.973, 1.098, 1.013 and 0.957 for T2, T3, T4, T5 and T6, respectively) and the control (T1, 0.901). Mortality of chicks was not encountered during the trial. Cooked and sun dried fish offal can be incorporated in up to 16.6% of the diets of growing RIR chickens without affecting intake and growth, however, best results were obtained at 9.96% inclusion level.
Keywords: Chicks; Fishmeal; Growth; Intake
East African Journal of Sciences Vol. 2 (2) 2008: pp. 111-118
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