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One hundred and fifty Arbor acres broiler chickens aged four weeks were used in determining the effect of fermented rice husk meal diets on the performance and nutrient digestibility of finisher broiler chickens. They were allotted into five dietary treatments containing 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 % rumen liquor fermented rice husk (RLFRH) meal, respectively. Each treatment was replicated three times with ten chickens each. The experiment was carried out using the completely randomized design. Feed and clean water were supplied ad libitum through the five weeks experimental period . Routine and standard management practices were strictly observed. Data on weight changes, feed intake and mortality were collected while feed conversion ratio was calculated. The results showed no significant (p>0.05) differences in live weight, feed intake, feed conversion ratio and mortality. However, the growth rate was influenced (p<0.05) by the dietary treatments with broiler chickens on dietary treatments containing 15% RLFRH and 20% RLFRH having higher (p<0.05) growth rate than those on 5% RLFRH and 10% RLFRH . Apparent digestibility results showed that dry matter, crude protein, crude fibre and ether extract digestibility were influenced (p<0.05) by dietary treatments. They were optimized at rumen liquor fermented rice husk levels of 9.10, 9.29, 12.03, and 12.31 g/kg DM intake. However, nitrogen free extract was not significantly (p>0.05) influenced by the dietary treatments. The results from this study showed that diets containing RLFRH had no adverse effect on broiler chickens performance and nutrient digestibility at the finisher phase; as most of the performance parameters were not significantly different from the control diet. Twenty percent RLFRH inclusion level is recommended at this phase for improved growth rate.
Keywords: Performance, rumen liquor, fermented, digestibility