Effect of different salinity levels in drinking water on growth of broiler chickens

  • F.N.A Odoi
  • M.K Afutu
  • S Lamptey

Abstract

During breaks in supply of treated water, farmers turn to surface and underground sources, such as wells and boreholes. Though seemingly wholesome, such water usually contains dissolved salts of various kinds that may affect productivity in poultry and other farm livestock. Fifteen 2-week-old, imported broiler hybrid chicks were fed a common ration, but offered drinking water from one of three sources, for 21 days, to investigate any effects of water quality on productivity. Three treatments (water source), each with five replicates (individually penned birds) were tested, in a completely randomised designed experiment. The treatments were (i) water from the tap (TAP), (ii) water from a borehole (BH1), and (iii) water from a second borehole (BH2). Birds were raised in battery cages, given water and fed ad libitum and weighed weekly. Water samples from the three sources were analyzed weekly for quality (i.e. conductivity, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, and total dissolved solids). Mean water salinity level were 0.00, 0.07 and 3.80 per cent for TAP, BH1, and BH2, respectively. Water treatment had no significant effects (P>0.05) on feed intake (110.8, 95.3 and 106.1 g per bird per day), weight gain (45.0, 43.6 and 43.0 g per bird per day), feed conversion ratio (46.8, 50.0 and 47.2%), and final weight of birds after 21 days (1.33, 1.30 and 1.32 kg), for TAP, BH1, and BH2, respectively. However, water intake by birds was significantly (P<0.05) influenced by source of water (222.9, 184.6, and 250.4 cm3 per bird per day) for TAP, BH1 and BH2, respectively. It is concluded that water from all the three sources, though different in quality, were acceptable to broilers over the short duration of the study. The need is to prolong the study to cover a normal broiler production period of 8 to 12 weeks to determine any long-term effects of salinity on productivity and health of broilers. The quality of water given to poultry, especially from underground sources (in place of tap water), should advisedly be analyzed for its quality and suitability.

 

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