The response of wild West African guinea fowl to varying levels of dietary protein under intensive management
A total of 186 eggs from Wild West African Guinea fowl were collected from the bush at the on set of raining season. The eggs were incubated at 36-370 to get the Guinea fowl keets used for this work. The hatchability of the eggs was 86% and the eggs hatched on the 27th day of incubation. The keets were fed on 24% protein diet for 8 weeks. At the end of the 8th week the keels were divided into 4 experimental groups in two replicates. Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 birds were fed on diets containing 18, 22 and 26% levels respectively up to 20th week of age. The results showed that the average body weight of the Guinea fowls increased with the increasing dietary protein level. The 26% dietary protein level promoted the heaviest Guinea fowls and the least was found in 18% protein fed Guinea fowls. This pattern was observed in weight gains. Feed consumption and dry matter digestibility were highest in 26% dietary protein fed Guinea fowls. Protein was better utilized for growth by Guinea fowls fed 26% protein than any other group resulting in the higher nitrogen retention for this group. It was concluded that for intensive management of the wild indigenous West African Guinea fowls the keets could be fed on 26% dietary protein level up to the end of the growing stage.Key words: Guinea fowl, Wild, Protein and Intensive Management.