Growth performance and nutrient digestibility of broiler chickens fed diets substituted for maize with two varieties of cassava tuber
A 56 –day study was conducted to determine the growth performance and nutrient utilization of broiler chickens fed with two varieties (white and yellow) of cassava grit based diets. A total of 240 one day- old unsexed Arbor acre broiler chicks were assigned to eighty dietary treatments in a 2 x 4 factorial arrangement using completely randomized design. Diets were formulated to include two varieties of cassava, TME 419 (white) and TMS 01 1368 (yellow) at four inclusion levels (0, 25, 50 and 75%). Each treatment consisted of 30 birds and three replicates of 10 birds each. Data was collected on growth performance and nutrient digestibility at the end of the starter (4th week) and finisher (8th week) phases. At the starter phase, birds fed 50% white cassava grits diet had the highest (P < 0.05) final weight and weight gain (730.00 and 693.67g/bird). At the finisher phase, birds fed 50% yellow cassava grits diet had the highest (P < 0.05) final weight and weight gain (2235.60 and 1454.00g/bird), respectively while the least final weight and weight gain values (2008.80 and 1267.80g/birds) were obtained in birds fed the control diet. At the starter phase, birds fed 75% white cassava grits diet had the best (P < 0.05) feed conversion ratio of 2.18, while birds fed 25% yellow cassava grits diet as well as those fed the control diet had the least (P < 0.05) feed conversion ratio of 2.62 and 2.51 respectively. Birds fed 50% yellow as well as those fed 75% yellow cassava grits diets had the highest dry matter and crude fibre digestibility at the starter and finisher phases, respectively. In conclusion the substitution of maize with white cassava grits up to 50% level improved growth performance at the starter phase. However, either white or yellow cassava can be substituted for maize up to 75 % at the finishing phase.
Keywords: Growth, digestibility, white cassava, yellow cassava, broiler chickens