Evaluation of the productive and economic efficiencies of cowpea hull and maize offal inclusion in layers' ration
Two types of agricultural wastes (cowpea hull and maize offal) were used as substitutes for maize as energy sources in layers' ration. Their productive and economic values were evaluated in 'complete randomized designed' experiment, with a view to curtailing the escalating cost of poultry feed production in Nigeria. The layers' rations were made cheaper by the partial replacement of the expensive maize component of the diet with maize offal and cowpea hull up to 30% level of inclusion. Egg weights (g) per bird were significantly improved (P<0.05), while average egg production per bird and percent day production were also improved, though not significantly (P>0.05). Addition of 5% level of palm oil to some of the rations to boost their energy content proved economically disadvantageous. Since the 30% level of inclusion of the test ingredients reduced the cost per dozen eggs (N) and showed relatively no adverse effects on the birds' performance indices, both cowpea hull and maize offal are, therefore, highly recommended as replacements for maize, as energy sources in layers' ration.
Keywords: Cowpea hull, Maize offal, Layers' ration.