Nutrient digestibility and carcass characteristics of broiler chickens fed different sources of animal protein
Keywords:Apparent digestibility, cut-up parts, visceral, broiler, carcass
One of the most important aspects of animal nutrition is digestibility of ingested materials which has a direct relationship with the health status of an animal. The effect of different fish meal alternatives (maggot, termite, grasshopper and lizard meals) on nutrient digestibility and carcass characteristics of broiler chickens was investigated in this 56 days feeding trial. One hundred and fifty broiler chicks (Marshal breed) were used for the study. Birds were assigned into five dietary groups of 30 chicks each and further divided into three replicates of 10 chicks each. Five experimental diets were formulated to contain 5% fish meal, maggot meal, termite meal, grasshopper meal and lizard meal in treatments 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 (tagged T1 , T2 , T3 , T4 and T5 ) respectively in starter phase, while fish meal was replaced with 2.5% maggot, termite, grasshopper and lizard meals in treatments 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively in finisher phase. The chicks were allocated into the four diets in a completely randomized design and housed in a deep litter pen with feed and water served without restriction. Results from dry matter, crude protein, crude fibre, ash, ether extract and nitrogen free extract digestibility showed significant (P<0.05) differences in the test ingredients on birds. Dry matter digestibility ranged from 88.35% in birds fed T3 to 91.86% in birds fed T5 . Crude fibre followed the same trend with the lowest (70.80%) in T3 and the highest (84.83%) in T5 , but ether extract digestibility was at the opposite trend where birds fed T3 had the highest (87.14%), and those on T5 gave the lowest (80.86%). Crude protein showed significant decrease across the treatments from 86.10% in T1 to 80.88% in T5 . Ash digestibility ranged from 68.84% in T2 to 77.05% in T1 . Results on cut-up parts showed that there were no significant (P>0.05) influence on all the parameters considered except in live weight, dressed weight and breast muscle weights where there were significant (P<0.05) differences. Internal organ proportions of the broiler birds showed no significant (P>0.05) effect of the test ingredients on all the parameters considered except in abdominal fat. It can be concluded that crude protein digestibility, live weight, dressed weight and breast muscle values in birds fed T2 (maggot meal) were higher than birds fed other test ingredients and as such recommended as an alternative to fish meal.