Growth Performance and Carcass Characteristics of Broiler Chickens fed Supplemental Palm Kernel Shell Ash
The objective of the study, was to determine the growth performance and carcass/organ weight responses of broilers to palm kernel shell ash (PKSA) mineral. Collected palm kernel shells were pyrolyzed and the ash yield evaluated for its mineral contents. Two hundred and Forty (240) Abor Acre chicks were randomly assigned to four groups (T1-T4) of 60 birds each and triplicates of 20 birds per replicate in a completely randomized design (CRD) experiment that lasted for 28 and 56 days, respectively. Four experimental broiler diets containing graded levels of PKSA at 0, 0.50, 1.00 and 1.50% to replace equal weights of bone ash were respectively formulated with T1 representing the control. Performance characteristics were determined at 28 and 56 days. At the 56th day, carcass, and organ weights were evaluated. The order of mineral elements in PKSA was Ca>K> P> Na>Mg> Fe> Mn> Zn> Cu>Co. The PKSA supplemented birds recorded similar final weight, feed intake and feed conversion ratio values (p>0.05) with the control. At 56 days, however, the control birds had superior (p<0.05) growth performance over PKSA treated birds. The T3 group nevertheless had comparable results with the control (p>0.05), while no significant differences (p>0.05) in FCR across the treatments. The T3 diet provoked good carcass values, with significantly higher (p<0.05) dressed weight, breast, thigh and drumstick percentage values than T4, but similar to the control values. Therefore, PKSA inclusion in broiler diets is recommended at 1.00% (T3) level due to better growth performance, and carcass/organ characteristics.
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