Effect of dietary inclusions of palm oil and sheabutter fat on growth and sexual maturity of pullets
A lesser known vegetable fat, sheabutter (SBF) was compared with palm oil (PO) as a dietary ingredient during the rearing phase of pullets. Black Harco grower-pullets (12 weeks old) were assigned to diets in which PO and SBF each quantitatively replaces maize at 2.5 and 5.0% and a fifth diet containing 2.5% each of both PO and SBF. At the 20th week, they were fed a common layer diet until sexual maturity was attained on all treatments. Results at the growing phase did not reveal any significant effects (P>0.05) on feed intake, weight gain, feed/gain and feed cost/weight gain. Sexual maturity was attained by 148, 149, 151, 155 and 158 days for pullets fed 5% Palm Oil, 2.5% SBF, 2.5% P0, 5% SBF and 2.5% SBFIPO diets respectively. PO and SBF at the levels studied were equally tolerated and could replace maize with no adverse effects on growth response. However, a delay in time of lay occurred when both oils were mixed in the diet.
Keywords: Palm oil, Sheabutter fat, poultry, physiology, growth.