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Response of broiler turkeys to graded dietary levels of Palm Kernel Meal in replacement for maize

MC Ugwuane


The performance of local broiler turkeys fed dietary treatments in which palm kernel meal (PKM) replaced maize at 0, 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 percent was evaluated. The replacement levels of 0, 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 percent represented diets 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively. One hundred and eighty dayold unsexed turkey poults were allotted to the six dietary treatments. The treatments were replicated three times. Each replicate having ten poults. The experiment was carried out as a completely randomized design experiment. The feeding trial lasted for 24 weeks. With the exception of mortality, significant differences (P<0.05) existed in the final weight, feed intake, weight gain and feed conversion ratio. The final weight and weight gain of birds fed diet 4 (60% replacement level) were not significantly different (P>0.05) from that of diet 3 (40% replacement level) but were significantly higher (P<0.05) than other dietary treatments. Feed intake and feed conversion ratio increased as the level of replacement increased. There were no significant differences (P>0.05) in the feed conversion ratio of turkeys fed diets 1, 2, 3, and 4. There were no significant differences (P>0.05) in slaughter weight, dressed weight, breast, wings and back cuts of turkeys fed the various dietary treatments. Dressing percentage values were similar for birds fed diets 1, 2, 3, and 5. Abdominal fat of turkeys increased with increasing concentration of PKM at the expense of maize in the diets. The thigh weight of turkeys fed diets 1, 2, 3 and 6 were not significantly different (P>0.05) but were significantly higher than that of diets 4 and 5; whereas the drumstick weight of birds fed diets 2 to 6 were significantly higher than that of diet 1. Similarly meat-to-bone ratio of turkeys fed diet 3-6 were significantly higher (P<0.05) than that of diets 1 and 2. The spleen of turkeys fed diets 2 was higher than others. Palm kernel meal can replace maize up to 60 percent in the diet of local broiler turkeys for good growth and carcass performance.

Keywords: Broiler Turkeys, Performance Palm Kernel Meal and maize