Niacin requirement of broilers fed maize - palm kernel meal based diets
A total of 350 day-old commercial broiler chicks were used in a trial aimed at estimating niacin requirement of broilers fed practical ration based on maize - palm kernel meal. The test diet was supplemented with varying levels of niacin so that the rations had 15.0, 22.5, 30.0, 37.5, 45.0, 52.5 and 60.0 mg of the vitamin per kg of feed and were fed to 7 duplicate floor pens with 25 chicks each. The treatments were maintained for a period of 42 days. Estimation of live weight gain, feed intake, apparent utilisation of nitrogen, metabolizable energy, calcium and phosphorus and carcass characteristics, and the incidence of dermatitis and leg deformities showed that dietary niacin level of 37.5 mg/kg feed was adequate for achieving good nutrient utilisalion, optimising productive performance and for maintaining good health.
Keywords: Broiler chicken, niacin, maize, palm kernel meal