Feeding value of processed horse eye bean (Mucuna urens) meal as alternative protein source in pullet chicks’ diets
The study was designed to evaluate the performance of pullet chicks fed graded levels of processed horse eye bean meal (HEBM) as partial replacement for soybean meal. The cracked beans were subjected to three processing methods viz: soaking in plain water for 48 hours, cooking for 90 minutes, and toasting on open fire at 100oC after sundrying for seven (7) days. The processed beans were milled to pass through a four(4) mm mesh and used for diet formulation. Six experimental diets were formulated each at brooding and rearing phases, with diet 1 as control, while soybean meal in the control diets were replaced with the horse eye bean meal (HEBM) at 15, 30, 45, 60 and 75% in diets 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, respectively. Three hundred and sixty (360) one day-old Lohman black pullet chicks were used at brooding phase, while two hundred and seventy (270), 56 days old chicks were used during the rearing phase of the experiment. Chicks were divided into six (6) groups on weight equalization bases and groups randomly placed on one of the six diets. The feeding trials lasted for eight weeks at brooding stage and twelve weeks during rearing period. Data generated were statistically analysed using analyses of variance procedures. The results revealed that level of HEBM in the diet did not significantly influence the average daily feed intake, average daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio. Cost of feed consumed and cost per kg weight gain were significantly reduced with the inclusion of HEBM in pullet chicks’ diets. It was concluded that 45 per cent of the soybean meal could be replaced by the HEBM in diets of pullets at the chick phase while HEBM can replace 60% of the soybean meal in the pullets’ diet at rearing phase.
KEYWORDS: Horse eye bean, anti-nutrients, processing techniques, pullet chicks, brooding and rearing phases.