Dietary evaluation of fermented cocoyam tuber meal (Xanthostoma sagitifolium) as energy source in place of maize in broiler chicken production
Considering the inherent attributes of cocoyam tuber meal (Xanthosoma sagitifolium) and its appropriate utilization in chicken diets may enhance performance of broiler chicken. This study was therefore carried out to determine the dietary evaluation of fermented cocoyam tuber meal as energy source in the diets of finisher broiler production. The objectives of the study were to determine the proximate composition of raw and fermented coco yam tuber meal and their anti-nutrient content (Tannin), cyanide, saponin, phytate and oxalate); to determine the effects of replacement value of maize with different levels of fermented coco yam tuber meal on the growth performance of broilers; to determine the economics of production of broilers using such diets. The fermented cocoyam was used to replace maize at various levels to determine the best level that would give optimal performance in broilers diets. One hundred and fifty (150) agrited finisher Anak broilers at 4 week were used for this experiment. The proximate composition of fermented cocoyammeal showed that it contained 19.15% moisture, 1.30% ash, 3.56% crude protein, 5.30% crude fiber, 1.90% ether extract and 25.48% NFE. In the finisher trial, the replacements were 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of FCYM for maize in the control diet. Each finisher diet was fed to a group of 30 finisher broilers at 4weeks using completely RamdomizedDesign (CRD). The parameters measured include: initial body weight, final body weight, body weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion ratio, cost of production and carcass characteristics. In the finisher feeding trial, the broiler group on 25% FCYM recorded the highest body weight gain which was significantly different (P<0.05) from those on the control diet and the rest of the treatment groups. The internal organs expressed as percent of the live weight were not affected by the treatments. The cost of production (N135.28) was lowest for diets 5 (100% FCYM) while the highest was the control treatment. The result of the trial have shown that 4 day fermentation of cocoyam tubers for processing broiler diets was quite an effective method of processing cocoyam tubers for use in broiler diets because fermentation reduced the anti-nutrient contents in cocoyam tubers. It was concluded that fermented cocoyam tuber meal could be used in the diet of finisher broilers up to 100% without affecting bodyweight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio as indicated in this study.