Tanzania Journal of Agricultural Sciences

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Effect of Fishmeal Supplementation on Body Weight Gain of White Leghorn St.arter Chicks in Eritrea

G. Asghedom, NP Kjos, D Austba


Two 8-week feeding trials were carried out to investigate the effect of supplementing an inadequate commercial diet available in Eritrea. with fishmeal produced locally by sun-drying and grinding on the body weight gain of White Leghorn chicks. The commercial diet consisted 'of a mixture of sorghum, wheat middlings, maize, meat and bone meal, and salt to make 50, 34, 10, 5, and 1 % of the diet by weight. In the first trial, 200 chicks were divided into 2 groups of 1 00 each. One group was fed on the control diet ,(C1), which consisted of the commercial diet while the other group was fed on the commercial diet supplemented with fishmeal to make 13 % of the diet by weight (FM1). The CP, CF, lysine, methionine + cystine, Ca and P content in % and ME in MJ/kg of C1 was 13.76, 3.96, 0.36, 0.48, 0.05, 0.5 % and ll.81, respectively. After supplementation with 13 % jishmeal, the CP, CF, lysine, methionine + cystine, Ca, and P content in % and ME in MJ/kg was 19.33, 3.45, 0.74, 0.65, 1.25, 0.75 and 11.70. In the second trial, the same experiment was repeated with a total of 40 chicks divided into 2 pens of 20 each with each pen fed either the commercial diet (C2) or the fishmeal supplemented diet (FM2). The composition of C2 was 15.23, 4.49, 0.40, 0.52, 0.08, 0.60 % and 11.'81 MJ/kg of CP, CF, lysine, methionine + cystine, Ca and P and ME, respectively. Supplementation of 13 % jishmeal by weight resulted in FM2 having CP, CF, lysine, methionine + cystine, Ca, P % and ME (MJI/kg) of 20.31, 3.91, 0.77, 0.68, 1.28, 0.86 and 11.68, respectively. Feed intake per pen was measured·daily. Body weights of representative samples of chicks were taken weekly. The total feed consumption per chick fed on FM1 was 1919 g for the 8-week trial period, 162g higher than chicks fed on C1. Chicks fed on FM1 attained a significantly higher (P 0.001) feed intake of 1655 g compared to chicks fed on C2 with a total feed intake' of 1262 g per chick. Chicks fed on FM2 attained a mean weight of 616.9 g compared to 24,4.8.g for chicks fed on C2. Fishmeal supplementation reduced mortality and increasedfeed convJrsion ratio in both trials.

Keywords: body weight gain, chicks, feed intake, fishmeal

Tanzania J. Agric.Sc. (2007) Vol. 8 No.1, 1-10

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