Efficacy of Organically Formulated Ration on the Egg Quality Factors and the Age of Laying among Traditional Back

Yard Chicken in the Rural Backyard Poultry Raring Systems of Kandy District,Sri Lanka.
Mathavan B1,Ranjith de Silva2. A.N.F.Perera3, J.K.Vidanarachchi3 and K.F.S.T.Silva3 Key Words: Egg Quality, Age of Laying, Organic Ration, Sri Lanka

ABSTRACT
This study was carried out to evaluate the egg quality traits and the age of laying against the organic (formulated without additives) and the conventional layer rations (commercial feed).Group of poultry farmers from the mentioned district were selected for this purpose and they were divided into three sub groups and subjected to each treatment separately; Tr1:Formulated Ration Tr2: commercial Ration and Tr3: Simple Feed Mixture . The mean value of the weight of the eggs , shell thickness, albumin index and haugh unit obeserved to be statisticlly significant ( Pr < 0.05) between the treatments.The cumulative mean value of internal quality factors (CMVIQF) was 212.17, 195.46 and 210.43 respectively. The simple feed mixture (T3) resulted an inferior value of the CMVIQT and delayed the laying period; thus in the sexual maturity of the birds was deferred, there was no significant different between Tr1 and Tr2.Organically formulated feed resulted an overall superior internal quality and doesn’t delayed the First age of laying for a long stretch.

INTRODUCTION
Out of all the poultry products available in Sri Lanka chicken eggs is the most common and vastly available product. Backyard poultry keeping is one of the main facets in the village homesteads which contribute to the meat and egg requirements, concern with the high nutrients value of the daily food intake. Not only that but the manure obtained from the birds is also a good fertilizer to the crops which are grown in the home garden. The traditional backyard poultry keeping system consists of local chicken varieties, adopted to the local environmental conditions and resistant to the parasitic attacks and diseases. The rural farmers manages their birds by the application of the indigenous knowledge, which is being transferred from their ancestors and the method of feeding, housing and breeding is done with the combination of the traditional knowledge and locally available natural resources rather than using the modern techniques. This method is almost similar to the Organic Poultry Production method since all the features are matching with the Organic Animal Husbandry procedures in terms of feed, housing, welfare and environment. These farmers allowed their birds to scavenge for their feed in the home yard but due to less land availability, the amount of feed which is obtained from the home garden is not sufficient to assure the intended growth and to gain optimum production of eggs from the birds. Feed is the main input in the poultry production system which occupies almost 60% to 90% of the production cost (Gunaratna, et el 2009).
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Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeiya, Sri Lanka and Gami Seva. Sevana, Galaha, Sri Lanka , (OWC Author) e mail: mathavanbalaraman.icei@gmail.com 2 GamiSeva Sevana, Galaha, Sri Lanka.

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Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. At the hill country areas of Sri Lanka, the production of grains such as maize, legumes and millets are not practiced, due to the factors like limitation of land and non-favorable climatic conditions. Therefore, the poultry keepers find it difficult to supply the sufficient amount of feed from the surroundings and the only option they have is to go for the commercial ration. Selection of the feed ingredients, with proper chemical compositions to match the nutrient requirement of the birds are the main criteria in formulating a ration. Usage of the commercial ration in the house hold level poultry is becoming very common in Sri Lanka. The main difference between the organic poultry keeping and commercial ration usage is the presence of additives, antibiotics and growth promoters in the commercial ration, which are not permitted in the feed for organic chickens. Since there is a high demand and a good price for the eggs of the free ranged country chickens due to the superior quality, the quality features of the free ranged eggs should be maintained uniformly. Although, many factors influence the egg quality, feed plays a major role in determining the aesthetic, sensory, physical and nutritional qualities of eggs. Incorrect feeding will lead to small eggs, deformed eggs and eggs with defects. This study was carried out in two villages of Kandy district – Galaha and Dunhinna with the objective of investigating the physical quality factors of eggs obtained from organic and conventional rations in the organic home garden systems and the effect of the three different feeds on the age of first laying. Nevertheless, many studies have been done to evaluate the quality of eggs, there are no on farm level experiments carried out to determine the physical quality of organic eggs. Thus, the organic egg producers and the consumers can get a clear inspiration on the organic layer feed and the organically produced eggs in organic poultry production system.

METHODOLOGY
The experiment was carried as an on-farm experiment within 24 selected rural farmer households, practices organic farming in Dunhinna and Galaha Villages of Sri Lanka (15 in Galaha, 9 in Dunhinna) where in organic agriculture is being implemented. The farmers were divided into three groups and each group was subjected to one treatment. The three different feed types are considered as the Treatments. For each treatment five farmers from Galaha and three from Dunhinna have been subjected. Thus each group was considered as a block in this experiment. Each farmer was considered as a replicate. Treatment 1: Formulated feed ( complex ration) which contain eight different ingredients : Maize 18.0%, Broken Rice 19.0 %, Rice Polish 37.5%, Soya Meal 5.5%, Coconut Oil cake powder 5.0%, Fish Meal 4.0%, Shell Grits 8.0%, Di calcium Phosphate 2.5% (free of Antibiotics, Growth Promoters and Layer Premix). Treatment 2: Commercial layer Ration, Treatment 3: A simple mixture of 60% of Rice Polish, 20% of Broken Rice, 20% of coconut oil cake powder. Two sets of samples were collected from each farmer in a monthly interval. The sample size is 2 freshly laid eggs from same day, which are randomly selected from each flock, consist of eight hens and 2 cockerels. Thus, from Galaha 10 samples and from Duhinna 6 samples out of each treatment have been collected at a time for the analysis. The age of the birds were same in the location where the experiment was carried out because the same aged birds have been provided to the farmer participants at the commencement of
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the experiment: the age of the birds of Galaha were 13 months old and the age of the birds from Dunhinna were 9 months old, when the egg samples were collected. The physical quality parameters have been analyzed in order to determine and compare the differences of the egg quality for each type of feed. The Physical Quality Parameters, Shape Index, Haugh Index, Albumin Index, Albumin Area Index and Yolk Index are calculated according to the standard formula.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Physical Quality traits obtained from all three treatments Figure 1: Mean value of the egg quality factors over the three types of layer feeds
Egg Quality Factors VS Feed Types
400 350 300 Mean Value 200 150 100 50 0 W ST YI AI HU SI YC CVIQF

Trt 1 Trt 2 Trt 3

Quality Factors

FF-Formulated Complex Ration, CF-Commercial Ration and SM-Simple Mixture *CMVIQF-Cumulative Mean Value of Internal Quality Factors. The treatments ( Feed types) have a significant effect on the weight of the eggs , shell thickness albumin index and in the haugh unit ( Pr < 0.05). The eggs obtained from Treatment 1 ( wherein the formulated organic ration was given) have the highst Cumulative Value of the Internal Quality Factors than in the eggs which were obtained from the birds treated with the other two feeds. However, the Cumulative Mean Value of the Internal Quality Factors of the eggs which are obtained from the conventionl commercial ration expressed the inferior value with the other two types of organic rations. The result indicates that the weight, shell thickness and shape index of the eggs obtained from the birds which were fed with the simple feed mixture are inferior in quality. This clearly point outs the simple feed mix is defficient in the essential nutrients specially protein and calcium which are essential for the development of the eggs. The flocks fed with the commercial ration commenced laying from 209.43 days of Age, which is comparitivly 1.5 days earlier than the the average age of 1st laying in country fowls that is 211 days,(Gunaratne et al, 1992. The formulated feeds did not consist of
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any growth promoters or laying inducers ; on the other hand the conventional commercial ration contains all of these additives resulted an early laying among the subjectes. The formulated feed ( Treatment 1) did not effect the age of laying , which is approximately 213.63 days, when comparing with the average figure mentioned by Gunaratne et al, 1992, it was 2.63 days late to the average age of 1st laying. But the simple feed mix (which containes only 60% of rice bran, 20% of Coconut Oil cake powder and 20% of broken rice ) delayed the 1st laying by 64.43 days ,. The reason for this result is the deficiency of essential nutritions , sice there was no protein and mineral suppliments such as soy bean meal, fish meal, dicalcium phosphate and shellgrits included in it. Therefore it is essential to include the protein and mineral suppliments in a balanced ratio in the layer feed in order to gain the production of eggs within the range of the average age of 1 st laying in general. Table 1: Comparisns of the three types of feeds over the detection of first laying Treatment Age( Days) FF 213.63 CF 209.43 SM 275.43 FF-Formulated Complex Ration ( Treatment 1), CF-Commercial Ration ( Treatmnent2) and SM-Simple Mixture ( Treatment 3)

CONCLUSIONS
The formulated complex feed which contains eight ingredients, results an overall superior physical quality traits in the eggs( p>0.05). The shell thickness is greater (0.38 mm) from the complex ration fed flocks ( Treatment 1) , weaker in the simple feed mix ( Treatment 3) fed flocks (0.32mm) and intermediate in the commercial ration ( Treatment 2)fed flock (0.37 mm).The commercial ration resulted an early laying (209.43 days), simple mixture delayed the age of first laying (275.43 days) and the formulated complex ration 213.63 days, which is 4.2 days behind than in the commercial ration.

REFERENCES
Gunaratne S P, Chandrasiri A D N, Mangalika W A P, Hemalatha and Roberts J A, 1992, Feed resource base for scavenging village chickens in SriLanka (http://www.springerlink.com/content/75pnv43t76t7k27k/fulltext.pdf?page=1, 25 /08 /2009) Niranjan M, Sharma R P, Rajkumar U, Chatterjee R N, Reddy B L N and Battacharya T ,Egg quality traits in chicken varieties developed for backyard poultry farming in India ( www.lrrd.org/lrrd20/12/nira20189.htm, 19/08/2009) Parmar S N S, Thakur M S, Tomar S S and Pillai P V A, Evaluation of egg quality traits in indigenous Kadaknath breed of poultry, (http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd18/9/parm18132.htm, 19/08/2009)

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