Growth performance and carcass characteristics of finisher broiler chickens fed diet containing cooked cocoyam tubermeal
This study was carried out to evaluate the growth performance and carcass characteristics of finisher broiler chickens fed diet containing cooked cocoyam tubermeal as energy source in place of maize. The proximate composition of cooked cocoyam tubermeal showed that it contained 13.11% moisture, 2.60% ash, 3.90% crude protein, 9.45% crude fiber, 1.85% ether extract and 70.13% NFE. In the finisher feeding trial, the cooked cocoyam tubermeal was used to replace maize at levels of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% respectively in the control diet. Each finisher diet was fed to a group of 30 finisher broiler chicken for 4 weeks using completely randomized design. Each treatment was divided into 3 replicates of 10 broiler chicks each. The birds were kept on deep litter and were given feed and water ad-libitum. Parameters measured include ifinal body weight, body weight gain feed intake, feed conversion ratio, carcass characteristics and economics of production. In the finisher feeding trial, the feed intake of the finisher broilers on diets 2, 3 and 4 were similar and compared favourably with those on the control diet. The finisher group on 100% CCYM (diet 5) recorded the lowest feed intake possibly because of the dustiness of the feed. The body weight gain of the finisher broilers on diet 2 (25%) cooked cocoyam tubermeal compared favourably with the control group and was significantly (P<0.05) higher than those on other diets. It appeared that the finisher broilers could not tolerate high levels of cooked cocoyam meal due to dustiness of the feed and its anti-nutritional factors. The cost of production per kg finisher broilers was cheapest for diet 5(100% CCYM) (N356.72) and the costliest was for diet 3(50% CCYM) (N588.28). The internal organs expressed as percent of the live weight were not affected by the treatments. In terms of carcass characteristics, the finisher broilers on diet 2(25% CCYM) recorded the highest breast muscle which was significantly different (P<0.05) from other groups. There were no significant different (P>0.05) on percent back cut, drumstick, head, shank, thigh, neck and wings of the finisher broilers on all the treatments. There were no significant differences (P > 0.05) in percent dressed weight of the finisher broilers on cooked cocoyam based diets. The results of the trial have shown that cooking cocoyam corms (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) for 30 minutes was effective for reducing the cyanide oxalate, tannin, phytic acid and saponin content and that cooking did not affect the proximate composition of tannia. Cooked cocoyam tubermeal could be used to replace maize up to 25% in the diet of finisher broiler chicken without affecting body weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio as indicated in this study.
Keywords: Nutritional evaluation, cooked cocoyam, growth performance, carcass characteristics, finisher broilers.