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Performance of Broiler Chickens Fed Sweet Potato Meal (Ipomoea batatas L.

) Diets

L.N. Agwunobi Department of Animal Science, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria,West Africa

Agwunobi, L.N., 1999. Performance of broiler chickens fed sweet potato meal (Ipomoea batatas L.) diets.
Tropical Animal Health and Production, 31(6), 383^389

ABSTRACT Day-old Lohman broiler chicks (n = 120) were fed on ¢ve starting diets for 4 weeks in groups
of 24 birds. The starting diets contained 0%, 9%, 18%, 27% and 36% sweet potato tuber as a
replacement for maize. From the ¢fth week, the 120 birds were tested in groups of 30 on four ¢nishing
diets containing 0%, 15%, 30% and 45% sweet potato tuber as a replacement for maize. The carcass
quality was signi¢cantly (p50.05) improved due to a signi¢cant (p50.05) reduction of abdominal fat in
the birds fed on the 45% sweet potato ¢nisher diets. However, the birds on the sweet potato diet
continually passed wet dropppings, resulting in a signi¢cant (p50.05) reduction in body weight and feed
conversion e¤ciency. The optimum levels of inclusion of sweet potato in the diets were considered to be
27% and 30% for starting and ¢nishing broiler chickens, respectively. Sweet potato diets may be a
remedy for fatty broilers.

Keywords: broiler, chicken, fat, food conversion, Ipomoea batatas, live weight, sweet potato

INTRODUCTION A major constraint to poultry production in developing countries is the scarcity and high
cost of the components of rations. Maize grain, which usually forms the bulk of such diets, has many
other uses and is not readily available for poultry because of its high cost. Furthermore, production of
maize in many tropical countries has fallen short of demand because of frequent drought, £ood, and
locust infestation a¡ecting some maize-producing areas. For these reasons, dependence upon maize as
the sole source of dietary energy for the poultry industry may be precarious and an alternative is
required. Sweet potato has great potential as an e¤cient and economic source of food energy (Hahn,
1984). It is not in as much demand as maize, yam or cassava. It produces more dry matter and has
greater feeding value per hectare than maize (Morrison, 1961). Most studies on sweet potato have
indicated that it can partially replace maize in the ration of layers (Bekibele, 1981; Agwunobi, 1993) and
broiler chickens (Fetuga and Oluyemi, 1976; Gerpacio et al., 1978; Job et al., 1979). Little or no
information is available on the e¡ect on carcass quality of substituting maize with sweet potato. This
paper reports on a study into this aspect of broiler chicken performance and carcass quality. Tropical
Animal Health and Production, 31 (1999) 383^389 # 1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the
Netherlands 383


Fresh sweet potato tubers from the National Root Crop Research Institute, Umudike, Nigeria were
sliced into chips and sun-dried to about 10% moisture on a cement £oor. Drying was carried out in
January and was facilitated by the dry northerly (harmattan) wind, resulting in a good quality product.
The dried chips were then milled into a £our. An aliquot was taken for chemical analysis by standard
methods (AOAC, 1984). The rest of the dried meal was used to replace maize grain by including 0%, 9%,
18%, 27% and 36% in starting diets and 0%, 15%, 30% and 45% in ¢nishing diets (Tables I and II). The
diets were made isonitrogenous and isocaloric by raising the levels of ¢sh scraps and palm oil,
respectively, with the increasing levels of sweet potato meal in the diets. Day-old Lohman broiler chicks
were used in the study (n = 120). The birds were weighed and distributed among the ¢ve starting diets.
The treatments were replicated twice with 12 birds per replicate and 24 birds per treatment. This part of
the experiment lasted 4 weeks. At the end of the 4 weeks, all the birds were brought together and
allowed to mix freely. They were weighed individually and reassigned to four groups, care being taken to
equalize the average initial weight of the groups. Each group, made up of 30 birds, was randomly
allocated to one of the four ¢nishing diets. The treatments were replicated twice, with 15 birds per
replicate. The same management practice was adopted for the birds on all treatments. The birds were
fed and watered ad libitum. Records of daily feed intake and weekly live weight, feed conversion
e¤ciency and mortality were kept. The experiment (¢nishing phase) was conducted for 6 weeks. All data
were subjected to statistical analysis and the treatment means were compared using the least signi¢cant
di¡erence (LSD) (Steel and Torrie, 1960). The design was completely randomized. At 10 weeks of age, 10
broilers were selected at random from the birds on the ¢nishing control diet (i.e. 100% maize-based
ration) and another 10 from the 45% sweet potato ¢nishing diet (i.e. 100% sweet potato-based ration,
Table II). These birds were used for carcass analysis, being deprived of feed for 24 h, killed by externally
severing the carotid arteries and jugular veins and left to bleed. Records of individual dead weights and
plucked weights were taken. The carcasses were then eviscerated and dissected into their component
parts, comprising the head, neck, leg, wing, breast, gizzard, liver, heart, intestine and abdominal fat. The
weights of the various parts were recorded and statistically analysed using Student's t-test for signi¢cant
di¡erences between the means (Steel and Torrie, 1960).

Effects of Sun-dried Cassava Peels Supplementation on the Performance of Weaner Pigs


It has been established that pig performance in terms of weight and efficiency of gain and

carcass leanness is clearly related to the intake levels and therefore intake of particular

nutrients, particularly energy and protein. However, feed stuffs and ingredients used in pig ration

formulation such as maize, soyabean meal, groundnut cake etc have continued to be scarce and

costly due mainly to their low production and competition as food by human beings in Nigeria.

This has caused the collapse of many small and large scale pig enterprises, discouraging

prospective farmers and curtailing further expansion of small backyard piggeries. Nevertheless,

the potential of many industrial by-product such as cassava peels, palm kernel meal, brewers

spent grains, wheat offal etc., to serve as alternative, cheaper and readily available nutrient

source for pigs has been recognised but not fully utilized ( Nwakpu et al., 1999).

It is in realization of the above intention coupled with the increased capital and foreign exchange
rate that farmers and feed manufacturers are now changing their operations towards grater
reliance on locally available feed stuffs (Bratte et al., 2011). Over the years cassava products
have long been used as a major source of energy in place of cereal grains by both man and his
livestock (Ikurior and Akem, 1998). It is not likely that, there would be a decrease in such
competition even in the new millennium.

Now that more people have realized the potentials of pig as quick source of animal protein with

the following attributes: high litter size, short generation interval, high growth rate, high

prolificacy, ability to convert kitchen waste into nutritious meat; the re is every need to find ways

of utilizing some of the domestic wastes like cassava peels in formulating swine diets ( Oke,

1978; Marire et al., 1997; Sriroth et al., 2000).

This study was therefore, planned to determine the growth performance of wearner pigs fed diets

containing dried cassava peals and whole maize in various proportions.


Study site: The study was conducted at the piggery unit of Micheal Okpara College of Agriculture

Umuagwo-Owerri, Imo State-Nigeria. The site has a standard piggery house with open sides

covered with nets, concrete floor and roofed with asbestos roofing sheets. Each of the pens

measuring 2x7 m has feeding and watering arrangements.

Experimental animals: Twenty-four crossbred wearner pigs weighing averagely 8.5±2.5 kg were

used. There were allocated into four treatment groups with three replicates in a completely

randomized design.

Experimental diet: Four experimental diets were formulated using whole ma ize and sun-dried

cassava peels in various proportions. Diets 1, 2, 3 and 4 contained 50, 40, 30 and 20% of

cassava peels, 0, 10, 20 and 30% of whole maize, respectively. Diet 1 with 50% dried cassava

peels and 0% whole maize was the control diet. Other in gredients used in the diets are shown

in Table 1. All the pigs were ear-tagged for easy identification and they were treated against ecto

and endo parasites using Ivomec at 0.5 mL kg -1 body weight prior to the commencement of

experiment. There were six pigs per treatment and each treatment was replicated three times

with two pigs per replicate.

Cassava peels: The cassava peels used were collected free from Mgbirichi cassa va processing

plant near Owerri Capital territory, sun-dried for seven days before grinding. Other feed

ingredients were bought from the open market at Owerri. The main source of protein was toasted

full fat soyabean meal and fishmeal. The proximate composition of the diets is shown in Table

1 which was determined according to AOAC (1990) method of analysis.

Feeding and collection of data: The pigs were weighed at the beginning of the experiment to

obtain their initial life weight and subsequently weighed on weekly basis. They were fed twice

daily, in the morning by 8.00 am and in the evening by 5.00 pm. Feed intake was obtained as the

difference between quantity offered and quantity left over. Water was offered ad-libitum. The

parameters studied were live weight; weight gain on a weekly basis, feed intake, body length,

heart girth and height at withers. The cost of 50 kg bag of each of the feed ingredients at the

time of purchase was used to calculate the cost of the experimental diets.


The rapid development of intensive broiler production in Nigeria has been accompanied by an
increased competition
between humans and animals for maize, which is a major staple food in Nigeria. This
competition over the years has
placed additional cost constrain and scarcity on its continued use in poultry diets. In view of the
shortage in supply
of maize and resultant high increase its price, and on account of it being the major source of
energy in livestock
ration, alternative source like cassava meal becomes imperative in order to reduce the cost of
feed production in the
livestock industries (4).
Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae (Spurge) family, native of
South America.
Cassava is the third largest source of carbohydrate for human food in the World and has been
grown extensively as
an important economic root crop in South east Asia, tropical Africa and Central America ( 8).
Nigeria is currently
the world’s highest producer of cassava; FAO (9) report indicates an annual production of over
26 million tones.
Cassava is a rich source of carbohydrate, providing large amounts of energy (7, 15, 26, 2, 10, and
Cassava is very low in fat or lipids. The extractable lipids are mainly polar, galactosyl
diglycerdes, and the fatty
acids in cassava are mainly saturated (11). However, the use of cassava meal, for non ruminant
animals is limited
by its high fibre content and hydro-cyanic acid which is deleterious to their growth and
development (29, 23 and
31). Processing methods that have been used to enhance the feeding value of cassava include sun
drying (16),
parboiling (18), soaking (25) in water and the use of additives; all of which have achieved
different level of success.
There is considerable amount of data on the inclusion of cassava meal in poultry diets (30, 27,
12, 28, 2, 3, 22 and
4). However, information on the effect of carcass weight is relatively scanty.
This study was therefore designed to evaluate the effects of cassava meal on broiler carcass
weight at various dietary
levels of replacement of maize, and ultimately determine the optimal inclusion rate of cassava
meal in poultry ration.
Advances in Agriculture, Sciences and Engineering Research: Volume 2 (6) June: 184 - 189,
Preparation of experimental diets
Different diets were formulated for the broiler starter and finisher phases of feeding. The diets
for the starter phase
of the study contained approximately 20% Crude Protein while those for the finisher phase
(Table I) contained
approximately 18% crude protein. In both diets whole cassava meal was used as energy source in
total replacement
of maize meal in treatments B, C and D, treatment A, which served as the control had no whole
cassava meal. Palm
oil was added in treatment B, C and D to reduce the toxic effect of cassava. Soya bean meal,
groundnut cake and
palm kernel cake were used as the major sources of protein in all the dietary treatments. Freshly
harvested cassava
(Manihot esculenta) were grounded and sundry for one week and mill together with other
ingredients using Hammer
Experimental birds and management
Two hundred (200) unsexed day old Gabro broiler chicks were procured, individually weighed
and randomly
assigned to the four dietary treatments in five replicate lots of 10 birds each. The chicks were
brooded intensively in
deep litter pens measuring 3m x 3.4m under the same experimental condition and fed ad libitum
with the respective
experimental diets for 8 weeks. The birds were fed with the starter diet for the first four (4)
weeks and finisher diet
for the last four (4) weeks. Water was also supplied ad libitum over the 8 week period. The
chicks received glucose
solution the first day (as anti-stress factor), while vaccination against Newcastle and infectious
bursal (Gumboro)
disease were and ministered at 2 and 3 weeks of age respectively.
Data collection/analysis
Data on feed consumption, body weight gain, feed conversion ratio, and feed efficiency were
recorded weekly. Two
birds in each replicate were selected, weighed and then slaughtered by cervical dislocation. The
feathers of the birds
were plucked after scaling in hot water at 60
.The head was removed and carcass was eviscerated for calculation.
The weight of the carcass: breast muscle, thigh, neck, drum stick and the back was determined
by slaughtering the
birds in each replicate. The different parts of the carcass was recorded in each replicate and
totaled for each
treatment and divided by the number of birds in each treatment
Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the treatment means were
separated for
significant using the multiple range test of Duncan (6) at 0.05 level of probability.

PRODUCTION. Available from:

Effect of dietary supplementation of garlic, ginger and their combination on feed intake, growth
performance and economics in commercial broilers

Feed is the major component of total costs of poultry venture as 80% of the total expenditure is
on procurement of feed [1]. Feed additives are a group of nutrient and non-nutrient compounds
which helps in improving the efficiency of feed utilization and thus reducing the high cost of
feed. In the past, antibiotics were the most routinely used feed additives. However, nowadays use
of antibiotics is not only limited but their use in livestock and poultry industry also have been
banned in many countries due to the reasons like alteration of natural gut microbiota and drug
resistance in bacteria and humans. As a result, to replace them without adversely affecting the
performance of birds, natural growth promoters such as prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics,
enzymes, plant extracts, etc., can be used to feed the broilers [2].
Garlic and ginger as natural growth promoters can be potential alternatives for common artificial
growth promoters like antibiotics [3]. Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale,
consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. Preliminary research indicates that nine compounds
found in ginger may bind to serotonin receptors which may influence gastrointestinal function.
Research conducted in-vitro shows that ginger extract might control the quantity of free radicals
and the peroxidation of lipids [4] and have anti-diabetic properties [5]. Garlic (Allium sativum)
has been used as a spice and a native medicine for many years. It has possessed antibacterial,
antifungal, antiparasitic, antiviral, antioxidant, anticholesteremic, anti-cancerous, and vasodilator
characteristics [6]. Ginger and garlic supplements in broiler chicken diets have been recognized
for their strong stimulating effect on the immune and digestive systems in birds [7]. Recent
research works on ginger and garlic formulations as feed additives have shown encouraging
results in regards to weight gain, feed efficiency, lowered mortality and increased livability in
poultry birds [8,9].
Different workers have tried at different levels of garlic and ginger in the diet of birds and but
most consistent results were obtained at about 1% level [10-12] and supplementation of these
products beyond 1% of ration may also have a negative effect on overall cost of feeding. As a
result, they are incorporated at the level of 1% in the diet of broilers. On the other hand, studies
on their use as mixtures in the diet of birds have produced inconsistent results. Therefore, this
study was planned to generate more information about the effect of using garlic and ginger alone
and in combination on performance and economics of supplementation in the diet broiler
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Materials and Methods

Ethical approval
This research was carried out as a part of M.V.Sc. research after the approval of competent
authority of the Director of research and Dean P.G. Studies, Junagadh Agricultural University,

Location of study
The experiment was carried out at the at modern poultry farm located at Mangrol, city of
Junagadh district which lies approximately on latitude 70.12’E and longitude 21.12’N with an
average elevation of 18 m (59 feet) above sea level. This region of South Saurashtra sub-zone
comes under Zone-XIII of agro climatic zone of India, which includes only Junagadh district. A
climate is dry sub-humid, and adverse climatic conditions prevail in this region with minimum
and maximum temperature ranging from 28°C to 38°C in summer and 10°C to 25°C in winter
months [13]. The average annual rainfall ranges from 1000 to 1200 mm.

Source and processing of ginger and garlic

Groundnut ginger and garlic used in this study was bought from a local market in raw form.
Then, it was cut into smaller pieces and dried sufficiently in the sunlight. After drying, required
amount of ginger and garlic was prepared by fine grinding and passing through 1 mm sieve.