Response of broilers to three different commercial feeds
Keywords:broiler, Performance, commercial feeds, haematology, serology
Poultry farmers who rely on commercial feeds sourced from the market always suffer some forms of financial loss due to sub-standard nature of such feeds. The normal practice is to formulate a balanced diet and compound the feeds with good quality ingredients. These conditions are not always within the control of the farmers who rely on buying finished feeds from the market. There is dearth of information on the quality of these common types of feeds
in the market with the aim of recommending the best to the farmers. This study was therefore, carried out to examine the response of broilers to three commercial feeds at the starter and finisher phases. One hundred and eighty 1-day-old unsexed Marshal broilers at three replicates of twenty birds each were used for the study; and lasted for eight weeks. Feed and water were supplied ad libitum. The performance, carcass, haematological and biochemical
parameters of the experimental birds were measured. The three diets were tagged Diets 1, 2 and 3 each representing a treatment. The average final live weight (AFLW), daily weight gain (ADWG), daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were significantly (P < 0.05) influenced by the feed types (dietary treatments). The highest AFLW (758.37g/b) was obtained for broiler starters fed Diet 2 compared to 689.60g/b (Diet 1) and 263.37g/b (Diet
3). The ADWG followed the same trend with birds fed Diet 2 having the highest value (25.67g/b) compared with 23.22g/b (Diet 1) and 8.00g/b (Diet 3). The ADFI (starters) were 72.88, 80.36 and 62.20g/b respectively for birds fed Diets 1, 2 and 3. The corresponding ADFI (g/b/d) for the finishers were 133.63 (Diet 1), 177.53 (Diet 2) and 58.57 (Diet 3); and ADWG (g/b/d) 42.49 (Diet 1), 51.79 (Diet 2) and 8.57 (Diet 3). Diet 2 gave the best performance in terms of weight gain, followed by Diet 1 and Diet 3 in that order for the finishers. However, the average cost per kg weight gain of the birds for the 2 phases were ? 307.88 (Diet 1), ? 309.29 (Diet 2), and ? 582.74 (Diet 3). All the carcass (live weight, bled weight, plucked weight, eviscerated weight, dressed weight and abdominal fat); and internal organs such as heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, intestine and proventriculus were significantly (P < 0.05) affected by dietary treatments. The RBC, Hb, Basophils, total protein, albumin and globulin differed significantly (P < 0.05) across the diets. It can be concluded that birds fed Diet 1 gave
the best overall economic, carcass, haematology and serological performance. Commercial Diet (feed) 1 is therefore recommended for broiler farmers.