Growth response, carcass characteristics and egg laying performance of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) fed diets containing varying levels of fermented cassava (Manihot esculenta) peel meal
A two phased experimental study was conducted on 300, two-weeks-old Japanese quails to determine the effect of feeding diets containing varying levels of fermented cassava (Manihot esculenta) peel meal on the growth performance, carcass characteristics and egg production of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). Japanese quails with mean initial body weight of 26.67 g and of mixed sexes were used. Fermented cassava peel meal (FCPM) was prepared by soaking fresh cassava peels in water (that is twice its weight) for three days. Thereafter, the peels were put in a jute bag and kept for 12 hours under a hydraulic press; sundried for a few days and milled using an attrition mill. During the growing phase, the birds were randomly allotted to four dietary treatmentswith 75 birds per treatment, each replicated three times, with the diets containing FCPMreplacing 0, 25, 50 and 75%maize to form diets T1 , T2 , T3 and T4 respectively. The diets were isonitrogenous, containing 24 % crude protein, and fed to the experimental birds for six weeks. Data were collected on feed intake, growth performance and carcass characteristics. The laying phase involved 120 female quails from the growing phase that were sexed to retain only the females. They were then allotted to four dietary treatments of three replicates per treatment; with 10 birds per replicate. The birds were fed the experimental diets containing FCPM replacing 0, 25, 50 and 75 % maize for eight weeks, and data were collected on egg production and egg quality parameters. Results show significant (p<0.05) differences in daily feed intake and nutrient digestibility among the treatments, while daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were not significantly (p>0.05) different, during the growing phase. For the laying phase, there were no significant (p>0.05) differences in daily feed intake, hen day production (HDP) and all the egg quality traits determined. Therefore, it can be concluded that dietary maize could be replaced with FCPM up to 50 % and 75 % in growing quails without any deleterious effects on growth performance and carcass characteristics respectively; whereas it can replace up to 75 % in the diet of laying Japanese quails without any adverse effect on egg production and egg quality traits.