Performance of Laying Hens Fed Sorghum Based Diets Supplemented with Enzymes
Keywords:Laying hens, Sorghum, Enzymes, Egg Laying Performance, egg quality, cost analysis
Sorghum is the primary alternative feedstuff for corn in some developed countries in the production of poultry. Thus, four hundred and fifty 32 weeks old Lohmann Brown laying hens were used in a study to evaluate the effect of replacing maize with sorghum with or without enzymes supplementation, on egg laying performance and egg quality characteristics of laying hens. Birds were distributed randomly into six dietary treatments with three replicates per treatment, each replicate had 25 birds with uniform initial group weights. The treatments included maize without enzymes (T1); sorghum without enzymes (T2); as controls respectively, while T3, T4, T5, and T6 contained sorghum based diets with phytase, protease, G2G, and a combination of protease and G2G respectively. Laying performance, cost of production, and egg quality characteristics were determined for the period of the trial, 33 -56 weeks of age of the birds. All data obtained were subjected to analysis of variance, using the completely randomized design (CRD) and significant differences among treatment means were compared using the Tukey test. Significant (p<0.05) differences were observed among dietary treatments but with no defined trend observed for egg production traits. Daily feed intake was significantly (p<0.05) higher in maize control diet compared to the other treatments. Diets supplemented with phytase (T3), protease (T4), and combination of protease and roxazyme G2G (T6) had significantly (p<0.05) better feed conversion ratio with T3 having the lowest value of 4.01 compared to the other treatments. For feed cost/dozen egg (N), Kg feed/dozen eggs, income above feed cost at N30 per egg, and income above control treatment; phytase (T3), protease (T4), roxazyme G2G (T5), and protease + roxazyme G2G (T6) diets in this study showed better performance than the control. Sorghum diet without enzyme had significantly (p<0.05) least performance for egg number, Hen housed egg production (HHP) and hen day egg production (HDP) compared to the other treatments while sorghum diet with phytase had the highest value (60.12g/day) for average egg weight compared to the other treatments. Egg quality characteristics showed the best performance for dietary treatments supplemented with phytase (T3) in all the other parameters considered, apart from the albumen height, yolk diameter, and yolk index. It was concluded therefore, that sorghum with phytase and protease supplementations can be used in layers' diets as a substitute for maize for optimum egg production.