Effects of Replacing Maize with Enset (Ensete ventricosum) Corm on Growth, Carcass, Blood Heamatology, and Biochemistry of Broiler Chicken
A total of 192 day-old unsexed broiler chicks were randomly and equally distributed in to 12 pens and used to evaluate the effects of replacing maize with enset corm on feed intake, body weight gain, carcass characteristics, blood hematology and biochemistry. Treatments were dietary levels of enset corm at 0% (T1), 15% (T2), 30% (T3) and 45% (T4) to replace maize by weight. Isocaloric and isonitrogenous starter and finisher rations were prepared and used for 42 days trial at Haramaya University. Four broilers (2 from each sex) were randomly taken from each pen and slaughtered for carcass evaluation. Daily dry matter intake during the entire period of the study ranged from 86.9 to 90 g/bird and was significantly (p<0.05) higher for T4. Average daily gain during the finisher phase was similar for T1 and T2 but higher (p<0.05) than T3 and T4. Better (p<0.05) feed conversion ratio was obtained from broilers fed T2 diet during the finisher and entire period of the study. Replacement of maize by enset corm at T4 level lowered (p<0.05) dressed and eviscerated weight. Blood hematology and serum biochemistry indices were not differ significantly (p>0.05) among the treatments except alkaline phosphatase (ALP) which was significantly higher (p<0.05) for birds fed T4 diet. The highest net return was obtained from broilers consumed T2 treatment diet. In conclusion, enset corm can replace maize as an energy source ingredient up to 30% without affecting broiler performance even though the 15% inclusion of enset corm was more profitable.