Laying performance and cost-benefits of feeding ISA brown layers with raw or processed tropical sickle pod (Senna obtusifolia) seed meal based-diets
A feeding trial was conducted for 16 weeks to evaluate the effects and cost-benefits of feeding raw or processed Senna obtusifolia seed meal based-diets on the laying performance of ISA brown laying hens. Six experimental diets were compounded to contain 0% S. obtusifolia seed meal (T1) and 20% each of the raw, boiled, soaked in water, sprouted and fermented S. obtusifolia seed meals designated as T2, T3, T4, T5 and T6, respectively. One hundred and eighty (180) ISA brown laying hens aged 36 weeks were housed in battery cages (5 birds/0.95 m2) and assigned to the six (6) dietary treatments in group of thirty (30) laying hens in a completely randomized design. Data was collected on feed intake, hen-day egg production (HDEP), hen-house egg production (HHEP), egg weight, egg mass, feed conversion ratio per egg mass, feed cost per kilogram, feed cost per egg mass and mortality. The results indicated that the group of hens fed raw S. obtusifolia seed meal based-diet recorded the lowest HDEP (52.42%), egg weight (53.08 g) and egg mass (2782.45 g). Among the laying hens fed the processed S. obtusifolia seed rneal based-diets, those fed the fermented S. obtusifolia seed meal based-diet indicated significantly (P<0.05) better HDEP (64.05%), egg weight (59.75 g) and egg mass (3826.98 g). On economic grounds, the use of raw S. obtusifolia seed meal is not cost effective but the processed ones showed some economic advantage. In conclusion, 20% of fermented S. obtusifolia seed meal can be incorporated in the diets of laying hens with little or no depreciation in laying performance and economic-benefits.
Keywords: Laying hens, laying performance, processed sickle pod, cost-benefits
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