Effects of false yam tuber meals and charcoal on broiler chicken production and blood parameters
The authors investigated the effects of replacing a portion of a commercial broiler feed with false yam tuber meals on broiler growth performance, feed conversion rate (FCR) and blood parameters. Furthermore, wood charcoal was added at various levels to the meals to explore their potential to attenuate toxic effects. One hundred and sixty-eight 28-day-old healthy female broiler chickens (average initial bodyweight 1081.1 ± 66.20 g) were randomly assigned to 28 experimental groups (7 dietary treatments, 4 replicates) of six birds each, using a randomized complete block design. Dietary treatments included the control diet (commercial broiler feed) (C), raw false yam tuber meal (RFY) replacing 50 g/kg of the commercial broiler feed, false yam tuber meal soaked in water (SFY) replacing 150 g/kg of the commercial broiler feed, RFY with 30 g/kg and 60 g/kg wood charcoal, and SFY with 30 g/kg and 60 g/kg wood charcoal. Growth performance, feed intake and FCR were assessed over four weeks. At the end of the experiment, blood samples were collected from 21 birds (three from each dietary treatment) to analyse haematological and serum biochemical parameters. Analysis of variance, Kruskal-Wallis tests, and simple regressions were used to evaluate the effects of the meals and charcoal. The results indicated that broilers fed 150 g/kg SFY had a significantly lower growth rate and poorest FCR. Consequently, highest bodyweights were observed for C and RFY diets. Additionally, blood serum proteins were below the references ranges for birds fed SFY, particularly with additional charcoal. In contrast, RFY could be included at 50 g/kg in broiler chicken diets without any adverse effects on their performance and blood (serum) parameters. Anti-nutritional substances contained in SFY at this substitution level are harmful to the birds, irrespective of whether charcoal is added or not. In contrast, RFY could replace commercial feed at the studied level (50 g/kg).
Keywords: Feed efficiency, growth performance, haematology, serum biochemistry, terpenes