Performance of finisher broiler chickens fed diets containing unpeeled sweet potato meal as partial substitute for maize
This study evaluated effects of unpeeled sweet potato meal (USPM) on performance of finisher broiler chickens. A total of 180 one day-old broiler chicks were used for the experiment. Brooding operation was carried out for 2 weeks. Thereafter, the broiler chickens were managed for additional 2 weeks with provision of starter diet and water ad-libitum. At four weeks old, they were equalized for weight and distributed into three dietary treatments (control, 10% and 15% unpeeled sweet potato meal as partial replacement for maize) each replicated four times with 15 birds per replicate; laid out in a completely randomized design. The birds were managed intensively throughout the experimental period until they attained 7 weeks of age. Data collected were subjected to one-way analysis of variance. Results revealed that the inclusion of unpeeled sweet potato meal up to 15% in diets of finisher broiler chickens did not significantly affect the growth performance indices, haematological parameters, carcass traits and most of the serum metabolites except albumin which showed significant variation and ranged from 1.35 g/dl (15% USPM) to 1.90 g/dl (control). Least significant cost (N129.73) per kg feed was recorded in birds fed diet containing 15% USPM relative to highest cost (N136. 63) per kg feed observed in birds fed control diet. Conclusively, incorporation of unpeeled sweet potato meal up to 15% in diet of finisher broiler chickens reduced cost per kg of broiler finisher diet and had no detrimental implications on growth performance, haematological parameters, serum metabolites and carcass traits in chickens.
Keywords: Broilers, sweet potato meal and performance