Potentials of sweet potato foliage as feed ingredient in Broiler diets
A total of one hundred and twenty (120) day-old broiler chickens were used in a feeding trial to determining the potentials of sweet potato foliage-based meals as supplement in broiler chickens production. Four iso-nitrogenous (20%) diets containing 2914.45, 2882.23, 2851.38 and 2782.60 Kcal/kg ME was used respectively for the study in a complete randomized design (CRD). Feed and water were provided to the chickens ad libitum for eight weeks. The results of the proximate composition of sweet potato foliage meal revealed that moisture (9.15%), dry matter (90.85%), ash (7.35%), crude fiber (22.52%), fat (2.47%), crude protein (18.82%) and NFE (39.70%). The growth performance result for final body weight and weight gain followed the same pattern. Diet I was significantly different (P<0.05) from diets II, III and IV but diet II and III were similar (P>0.05) and differ from diet IV. Total feed intake and average feed intake/bird/day followed the same trend. Diets I, II and III were significantly different (P<0.05) from diet IV. The cost of feed/kg (N) decreased with increasing dietary levels of sweet potato foliage meal. The result of carcass characteristics showed that there were no significant differences (P<0.05) in % dressing weight, breast (%), wing (%) and back cut (%). Live weight, de-feathered weight, dressed weight, drumstick (%) and thigh (%) followed similar trend, broilers fed diets I, II and III were significant better than those fed diet IV. Organs such as heart, kidney, small intestine and large intestine showed no significant differences (P<0.05). The sweet potato foliage meal included up to 10% was tolerated by the broiler chicken in all the parameters evaluated with an average initial weight of 90g.
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