Effects of sweet potato meal on performance and carcass characteristics of broiler finisher birds
Three hundred and five (305) five weeks old broilers (Anak strain) were used in a four-week experiment to determine the effect of dietary substitution of processed sweet potato meal for maize grain on the carcass quality of broilers at the finisher phase. Graded levels of processed sweet potato meal (0, 12.5, 25, 37.5 and 50%) substituted corresponding levels of maize grain in five treatments (A, B, C, D and E) respectively, which were further replicated five times in a completely randomized design. Feed and water were supplied ad libitum to the experimental birds, while vaccinations and necessary medications were promptly administered to
sustain good health and immunity. Carcass evaluations in weights were measured weekly in all the treatments. The average weights of the broilers at four weeks were 1400, 1210, 1106, 1000 and 786 gm for treatments A, B, C, D and E respectively. Results showed that treatment C had significantly (p<0.05) improved body weight, shank length, wing length, body height, body length, thigh length, leg length, daily feed intake, heart weight and crop weight. Processed sweet potato meal can replace maize grain in finisher broiler rations without deleterious effect.
Keywords: Broiler, sweet potato meal, maize, performance, carcass evaluation, poultry