• E. Ozeudu Department of Animal Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria
Keywords: Cooked undecorted sandbox seed meal, substitution level, soybean meal, performance, and laying hens


Mature sandbox (Hura crepitans) undecorted seeds were boiled for 1 hour at 100oC, sundried for 3 days and
crushed in a hammer mill with a sieve size of 3.36mm to produce cooked undecorted sandbox (Hura Crepitans)
seed meal. A 12-week feeding trial was carried out to evaluate the substitution value of cooked undecorted
sandbox (Hura Crepitans) seed meal for soyabean meal in layers diets. Four experimental layers diets were
formulated such that cook sandbox seed meal so prepared substituted soybean meal at 0%, 10%, 15% and 20%
dietary levels respectively. Two hundred and forty (240) Shika Brown laying hens (already 6 months in lay on
deep litter) were divided into four groups of sixty (60) hens each, and randomly assigned to the four treatment
diets in a completely randomized design (CRD). Each treatment group was further subdivided into three (3)
replicates of twenty (20) hens each. Feed and water were provided ad-libitum. The hens were weighed at the
beginning of the experiment and weekly thereafter, while feed intake was recorded daily. Eggs were collected
twice daily (9.00 am and 3:00pm) and weighed. Five eggs from daily collections from each treatment were
randomly selected and evaluated daily for external and internal egg characteristics. At the end of the feeding trial,
five (5) hens per replicate were deprived of feed but not water for 24 hours, weighed, slaughtered and eviscerated
for organ weight analysis expressed as percentage of live weight. Data Collected were subjected to analysis of
variance. Results show there were no significant (P>0.05) differences among the treatment groups in all the
parameters measured, except in body weight gain and Haugh unit of the laying hens. Feed intake, feed conversion
ratio (g.feed/g.egg), hen-day egg production (%), and egg weights of the groups on the substitution levels
compared favourably with the control group. The organ weight analysis and egg quality characteristics (external
and internal) of the hens were also comparable with the control group. The results of this experiment suggest
therefore, that cooked undecorted sandbox (Hura Crepitans) seed meal could partially substitute soybean meal in
layers diets at 20% dietary level, however for optimal egg production, 10% dietary substitution level is


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