Effect of varying energy and protein levels on carcass characteristics of helmet Guinea fowls in the tropics
The effect of energy and protein and their interaction on carcass characteristics of helmet Guinea fowls in the tropics was investigated using one hundred and thirty-five Guinea fowls. The experiment which lasted for 5 weeks involved a 3*3 factorial in completely randomized design. The birds were randomly assigned to experimental diets containing three energy levels: 2500, 2600 and 2700 kcal/kg denoted as E1 , E2 and E3 respectively and three protein levels: 15%, 16% and 17% CP denoted as P1 , P2 and P3 respectively. The factorial design involved nine treatment combinations. The birds were allocated to each diet and were replicated three times to contain five birds per replicate and 15 birds per treatment. The result revealed significant (P<0.05) differences in the main effects of protein on dressed weight, thigh weight and breast weight. The 17% CP recorded the most significant values for dressed weight (689.44 g) and breast weight (24.89g). The varying energy levels also affected significantly (P<0.05) the dressed weight, thigh weight, wing weight, breast weight, back weight and gizzard weight of the birds. The 2600 kcal/kg recorded the highest dressed weight (717.22 g) compared to the other energy levels. However, the 2700 kcal/kg recorded the most significant values in thigh, wing, breast, back and gizzard weights. The interaction effect of protein x energy levels revealed significant (P<0.05) effects on live weight, wing weight, breast weight, back weight and gizzard weight of the Guinea fowls. The findings from this experiment conclude that diet of Helmeted Guinea fowl containing 15% CP and 2700kcal/kg ME gave the best carcass performance.
Keywords: Energy, protein, carcass characteristics, helmet Guinea fowls