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Effects of replacing maize with pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum) on the performance of finishing broiler chickens in the semi-arid zone of Nigeria

AA Makinta
CO Ubosi


An experiment was conducted to determine the replacement value of pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum) for maize in broiler finisher diets. A total of eighty (80) day- old Anak giant broiler strain was brooded together and assigned to the following treatments: T1 , T2 , T3 and T4 which contained 0, 25, 50 and 75% millet, respectively. The millet replaced maize quantity for quantity in the diets. Each treatment was replicated four times with five birds per replicate in a complete randomized block design experiment. At ten weeks of age, blood samples were collected from five (5) birds in each treatment via the brachial vein of the birds and analyzed for red blood cell (RBC) and white blood cell (WBC) counts. Packed cell volume (PCV) and haemoglobin (Hb) concentration were also determined. Mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH), and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) values were then calculated. The results showed that T4 recorded the highest PCV, Hb, WBC, RBC, values while T1 recorded the highest mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and MCH values Treatment effects on productive  parameters such as feed intake, body weight and feed conversion ratios were determined. The result showed that T2 recorded the highest feed intake (125.58 g) in comparison with T1 (121.67 g), T3 (123.58 g) and T4 (122.49 g) treatment groups. The economic analysis also revealed that the cost of broiler production was relatively cheaper in T4 compared to the other treatments. The gross revenues were T1 (N=8,750), T2 (N=7,800), T3 (N=7,500) and T4 (N=9,000). From the foregoing study, 75% of maize can be substituted with pearl millet in the diet of broiler chickens without any adverse effect on the performance. Furthermore, the substitution proves more economical as it reduces the total feed cost. It is recommended that the effects of various levels of inclusion on the carcass parameters of broiler chickens should be evaluated to determine particularly their effect on abdominal fat.

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print ISSN: 1117-6210