Performance And Egg Quality Of Hens Fed Cocoa Husk Based Diet
Lowman Brown hens, 37 - week - old, were used to study the effect of dietary inclusion of 10 and 20% cocoa husk meal (CHM) at the expense of maize on hen performance and egg quality. The trial was conducted for 10 weeks. Egg production (EP), egg weight (EW), egg mass (EM), feed consumption (FC), and feed efficiency (FE) were criteria of comparison. Others were feed cost/kg egg, shell weight, percentage shell and yolk colour index. Inclusion of 10 and 20% CHM in laying hen diets had no significant effect (P < 0.05) on EP, EM and FE. However, FC was high (P < 0.05) on the 20% CHM diet though this appeared to be compensated for by increased egg weight. Shell weight and percent shell were not affected by dietary treatments while the 20% CHM diet increased yolk colour index. Feed cost/kg egg was lowered by feeding the test diets. The present study has shown that laying hens can tolerate and produce eggs economically on diets incorporating up to 20% CHM.
Keywords: Cocoa husk meal, hen performance, egg quality