A comparative evaluation of leaf meals of pawpaw (C. papaya), swordbean (C. gladiate), jackbean (C. ensiformis) and pigeonpea (C. cajan) as feed ingredients and yolk colouring agents in layers' diets
Leaf meals of the above-named tropical plants at 0.2,3 ,4 and 5% dietary levels were investigated for their values as feed ingredients and egg yolk pigmenters in white maize based layer diets. Each diet was fed as 5 replicates of 15 hyaline layers for 14 weeks. Pawpaw leaf meal (P<M) at 4% and 5% dietary levels significantly (P<0.05) depressed feed intake without affecting egg production and body weights. It, however, had no colouring affecting on egg yolk. Sword bean leaf meal (SBIM), jack bean leaf meal (JB<M) and pigeonpea leaf meal (PPLM) compared favourably with the control group in terms of feed intake, egg production and body weights. SBLM exceptionally improved egg yolk colour, scoring 4, 5, 8 and 12 on the Roche egg yolk colour fan at 2, 3, 4 and 5% dietary levels respectively. JBLM and PPLM only gave a score of 4 and 5% dietuy level. SBLM appears to be very high in biological available xanthophylls and should be considered for development as commercial egg yolk pigmenter.
Key words: Pawpaw leaf meal, Swordbean leaf meal, Jackbean leaf meal, Pigeon pea leaf meal.