Protein and energy requirements for indigenous guinea keets (Numida meleagris) in southern Ghana
One thousand two hundred healthy unsexed unsexed keets were used in an 8-week feeding trial that aimed at determining the protein and energy requirements during the starter phase of local guinea fowls reared in coastal savanna part of Ghana. The keets were randomly allocated in a 3 X 2 factorial design to six dietary treatments (three crude protein levels and two energy levels) in a deep litter system. Each treatment had 200 keets and was replicated four times with 50 keets per replicate. The six dietary treatments were designated as follows: T1 (23% CP and 11.5 MJ ME/kg), T2 (24% CP and 11.5 MJ ME/kg), T3 (25% CP and 11.5 MJ ME/kg), T4 (23% CP and 12.5 MJ ME/kg), T5 (24% CP and 12.5 MJ ME/kg), and T6 (25% CP and 12.5 MJ ME/kg). A known daily quantity of feed was given each replicate early in the morning while water was provided ad libitum. The same diets were fed for the entire duration of the study. Feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, economy of gain and mortality were determined and use as indices of evaluation. The feed intake per keet per day increased with the lower energy level diets (T1, T2 and T3) (P < 0.05). Dietary treatments T5 and T6 had the highest (P < 0.05) daily weight gains of 8.61 and 8.38 g/day respectively. The feed conversion ratios of the keets were 4.18, 4.20, 4.13, 4.32, 3.46 and 3.60 for T1, T2, T3, T4, T5 and T6, respectively. T5 diet had the least (P < 0.05) feed costs per kg gain ($/kg gain) value of 1.63. The study indicated that protein and energy required by guinea keets during the first 8 weeks of growth could be put at 24 percent CP and 12.5 MJ ME/kg, respectively.