Growth performance of starter broilers fed processed cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) as energy source in place of maize
Considering the inherent attributes of cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium), its appropriate utilization for chicken diets may enhance performance of starter broilers. The study was therefore, carried out to determine the growth performance of starter broilers fed processed cocoyam tuber meal as energy source in place of maize. Xanthosoma cocoyam corms were harvested, cleaned of soil and chopped into bits of about 0.2 cm. The chopped tannia was soaked in water in a large vat for 24 hours to reduce the ant nutrients and later on separated from the water and dried with microwave oven. The dried cocoyam was milled and then used.The proximate chemical composition showed that soaked cocoyam tuber meal contained 8.05% moisture, 91.95% dry matter, 10.08% ash, 2.01% crude protein, 1.60% ether extract, 3.80% crude fibre, 74.46% NFE and 3158.92Kcal/kg DM metabolizable energy. In the starter broiler experiment, five experimental diets were formulated such that, diet 1 (control) contained yellow maize as the main energy source, while soaked CTM was used to replace maize at levels of 15%, 20%, 25% and 30% respectively in the control diet. Each starter diet was fed to a group of 30 broiler chicks for 4 weeks using completely randomized design. Each treatment was further grouped into 3 replicates of 10 birds each. The broiler chicks were kept in deep litter and given feed and water ad libitum. Parameters measured included initial body weight, final body weight, feed intake, feed conversion ratio and cost of production. In the starter feeding trial, the group on 30% soaked CTM (30% SCYM) compared favorably with the control group (P<0.05) and recorded the highest body weight gain. It appeared that, the starter broilers could tolerate high levels of soaked CTM in their diets. Cost of production (cost of feed x feed conversion ratio) was lowest for diet 5 (30% SCYM) N248.15 as against N281.86 for control diet in the starter feeding trial. CTM meal can be used to replace maize at 30% in the diets of starter broilers without affecting weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio as indicated in the study.
Keywords: Growth, performance, processed, cocoyam, energy source, broiler starter.