Short Communication: The effect of feed presentation on the performance, litter and egg quality parameters of Shika brown layers
A total of 240 point of lay birds were used to investigate the effect of feed presentation on the performance, litter and egg quality parameters of Shika Brown layers from point of lay. The birds were fed diet with similar nutrient content but presented in five different forms. Diet 1 was presented in the form of crumbs; diet 2 was presented in small pellets, diet 3 was presented in bigger sized pellets while diet 4 was presented as mash. Diet 5 which served as the control was a home made layer diet of 16.5% crude protein and 2600kcal/kg metabolisable energy. Each of these diets constituted a treatment (making 5 treatments) and each treatment was replicated 4 times with 12 birds per replicate in a complete randomized design experiment. The birds were raised under the deep litter system, fed and given water ad libitum. Equal quantity of five kilogramme of wood shavings was spread in each pen measuring 1.2 by 2.5 meters. Records taken includes initial and final weight of the birds, feed intake which was measured weekly, egg production which was recorded daily and mortality which was recorded as they occurred. Samples of the litter were taken from each replicate group and scored on a scale of 1-5 with 1 representing the driest and 5 representing the wettest before being analysed formoisture content. Samples of three eggs from each replicate were taken for three consecutive days at the end of every month. They were weighed and broken out into a flat white plate for the measurement of albumen height and width, yolk height and width. Yolk colour was read using the Roche Yolk Colour Fan (R). The shells were washed and sun dried for three days before the weight and shell thickness were measured. Results obtained indicated that feed presentation has a significant effect on the performance, litter quality, economic analysis and egg quality parameters of the birds.
Keywords: Layers, feed presentation, egg quality, performance, Shika Brown.