Evaluation of enzyme supplementation of palm kernel meal-based diets on the performance of broilers
An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of partially replacing maize with palm kernel meal with and without enzyme supplementation on the performance and gut morphology of broilers. One hundred and fifty (150) 7 day-old broiler chicks were randomly allotted to 5 dietary treatment groups of 3 replicates each. Each replicate had10 birds. The experimental design was Completely Randomized Design (CRD). The diets were as follows: diet 1- control diet; diet 2- 10% PKM with Hemicell; diet 3- 10% PKM without Hemicell; diet 4- 20% PKM with Hemicell and diet 5- 20% PKM without Hemicell. The active ingredient in Hemicell is ß-mannanase. Palm kernel meal replaced 10% and 20% of maize in the test diet. The control diet had no palm kernel meal and Hemicell was added to diets 2 and 4 at the rate of 500g/tonne of feed. Routine management and vaccination procedures were followed while fresh feed and water were supplied ad libitum. The experiment lasted 42days. Significant differences were observed in the final body weight and weight gain of the birds with birds on diet 5 having the highest values. No significant differences were observed in the gut morphology (villus height) of the birds on the different diets. The feed cost and cost incurred per kilogramme weight gain were lowest for birds on diet 5.The results of this study showed that broilers can tolerate 20% inclusion rate of palm kernel meal in their rations without enzyme supplementation and partially replacing maize with palm kernel meal at that level of inclusion can reduce the cost of production of broilers.
Key words: Broilers, enzyme, hemicell, morphology, palm kernel meal, villus.