Replacement of soybean meal with fermented Thevetia cake in layers diet: Effects on performance, egg quality and nutrient retention
80, Olympia laying hens that had been in lay for 20 weeks were randomly allocated to 5 dietary treatments and fed over a 10 week period. The birds were individually caged thus there were 16 replicates per treatment. The dietary treatment contained expeller pressed thevetia cake which had undergone anaerobiosis. The cake replaced soybean meal in the ratio of 0:100, 25:75, 50:50, 75:25 and 100:0. Dietary treatments significantly decreased (P<0.05) feed intake, egg production, feed efficiency and egg weight. The treatment however had no effect (P>0.05) on weight gain, mortality and egg quality parameters. Egg production and average egg weight was however not affected by replacement up to 50:50 substitution ratio (P>0.05). Nitrogen and fat retention decreased (P<0.05) with increasing thevetia cake concentration, while fibre was not affected. It was concluded that fermented expeller pressed thevetia cake can replace up to 50% of the soybean in layers diet.
Keywords: Thevetia cake, soybean meal, diet anacrobiosis, substitution value, laying performance.