Effect of replacing Palm Kernel Cake with Sheabutter Cake on egg quality characteristics, haematology and serum chemistry of laying hens
The study examined the effects of replacing palm kernel cake (PPKM) with sheabutter cake (SBC) in the diets of layers and the effects of such on egg quality characteristics, haematology and serum chemistry of the birds. Shea Butter Cake was included in the diets at 0, 10 and 20% levels. Shea butter cake at 20% dietary level significantly (P 0.05) decreased shell thickness, shell weight, egg mass and shell surface area. Haugh unit and yolk index were not affected by the treatments. Shell weight and shell thickness were positively correlated. Yolk cholesterol and hen day egg production decreased as dietary level shea butter cake increased from 0 to 20%. Birds fed 0 and 10% of SBC dietary levels had similar values for packed cell volume, haemoglobin and white blood cell count whereas, birds fed 20% SBC had the lowest values for these haematological parameters except red blood cell count which was the highest at 100% level of replacement of PKC in the diets. Generally, serum indices increased as SBC dietary levels increased from 0 to 20% except glucose and glutamate pyruvate transaminase. There was a negative correlation between serum cholesterol and egg yolk cholesterol.
Keywords: Laying hens, sheabutter cake, Egg quality characteristics, Haematology and serum chemistry.