Ghana Journal of Agricultural Science

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The nutritive value of quality protein maize in the diets of broiler chickens

SA Osei, CC Atuahene, DB Okai, A Donkoh, AK Tuah


Two experiments, each lasting 6 weeks, were conducted to evaluate quality protein maize (QPM) as a feed gredient for broiler chickens. In Experiment 1, either normal hybrid maize (NM) or QPM was used as the sole source of protein and amino acids, and the diets were balanced for vitamins and minerals by the addition of a vitamin-mineral premix. These diets were compared with a balanced 21 per cent crude protein starter-finisher broiler diet. In Experiment 2, broiler chicks were fed combined starter-finisher diets of varying protein contents in which QPM replaced normal maize. The aim was to assess the potential for reducing dietary fishmeal incorporation as QPM replaced normal maize. In both experiments, feed and water were supplied ad libitum. The parameters measured included feed intake, growth rate, feed conversion efficiency, and carcass characteristics. The economics of broiler production was determined in Experiment 2. In Experiment 1, birds receiving QPM as the sole source of amino acids performed significantly better (P<0.05) than their counterparts fed on normal maize. QPM-fed birds weighed an average 708.0 g each at the end of the trials compared with 532.0 g for those on normal maize. The corresponding feed efficiencies were 4.28 and 6.55, respectively. Compared with birds on the balanced diet, however, QPM was inadequate in supporting broiler growth. In Experiment 2, the use of QPM allowed the fishmeal to be reduced from 19.5 to 13.5 per cent without adversely affecting performance. It was cheaper to produce broilers using QPM than using normal maize.

Ghana Jnl agric. Sci. Vol.31(1) 1998: 1-5
AJOL African Journals Online