Effects of feeding Fusarium Verticillioides culture material containing known levels of fumonisin B1on growth performance and egg quality traits of laying hens.
The implications of fumonisin B1, a secondary metabolite of Fusarium verticillioides(common contaminant of maize) on growth, pubertal development and egg quality traits of laying hens were studied in a 16-week experiment. Sixty Isa-Brown Pointof- lay( POL) birds with an average weight of 710.02g were divided into four groups with fifteen birds per group such that the weight per group range from 710.50-720.42g. Four nutritionally balanced test diets were prepared to contain 0.2, 5.2, 10.2 and 15.2 ppm of fumonisin B1 constituting diets 1(control), 2, 3 and 4 respectively by substituting ground corn cultured with F.verticillioides for ground autoclaved, noncultured corn in graded proportions. Each group was assigned to one experimental diet in a completely randomised design. Feed intake and body weight gain were determined daily. The age at which 50% of the POL birds on each experimental diets began to lay was considered their pubertal age. Ten eggs were randomly selected from each treatment every week for a period of five weeks for the assessment of egg quality traits .Results showed that the daily feed intake, daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio of the laying hens were not adversely affected (P>0.05) by the dietary fumonisin B1 concentrations. Statistically similar values(P>0.05) were obtained for the pubertal age of the experimental birds across the treatments. The dietary mycotoxin also failed to exert any significant influence (P>0.05) on the external and internal egg quality traits investigated except the yolk colour of laying hens on diet 4 which was statistically superior (P<0.05) to those on diets 1,2 and 3, respectively. Although, egg cholesterol values tended to decrease while those of egg triglycerides apparently increased with increase in the levels of dietary fumonisin B1, the parameters were not significantly influenced(P>0.05) by the dietary fumonisin concentrations. These results imply that laying birds can tolerate fumonisin B1 up to 15.2ppm in their diets without compromising the growth performance of the birds, nutritional and reproductive potentials of their eggs.
Keywords: Egg quality, Fumonisin B1., Isa Brown point-of-lay, Pubertal development,
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