Effect of Substituting Maize with Different Levels of Sweet Potato Tuber Meal on Feed Intake, Feed Conversion Efficiency, and Growth Performance of Broiler Chicks
Background: Shortage of conventional energy feedstuff such as maize and significant cost of the ingredients of ration is a major constraint to poultry production in developing countries like Ethiopia. In this regard, sweet potato is a locally accessible non-conventional energy feed stuff that can be incorporated into the diets of poultry as an alternative option of energy feed.
Objective: A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of substituting maize with different levels of sweet potato tuber meal (SWPTM) on feed intake, feed conversion efficiency, and growth performance of broiler chicks.
Materials and Methods: One hundred ninety-two Cobb 500 broiler chick strains with initial weight of 35.64 ± 0.37 (mean ± SD) grams were randomly distributed to four treatments each with three replications in a completely randomized design. The four treatment diets used were rations containing 0% (T1), 15% (T2), 30% (T3), and 45% (T4) level of sweet potato tuber meal to substitute maize.
Results: The sweet potato tuber meal contained 8.32% crude protein (CP) and 3651 kcal kg dry matter–1metabolizable energy .The average daily feed intake during the entire experimental period was 71.1, 91, 95.5 and 97.7 gram per chick (SEM = 0.77) for T1, T2, T3 and T4 respectively, and higher for T4 as compared to T1, T2 and T3 and lower for T1 as compared to the rest of the treatments (P < 0.05). The body weight gain during the entire experimental period was 31.35, 45.23, 35.91 and 35.39 gram per chick per day (SEM = 0.89) for T1, T2, T3 and T4 respectively, and higher for T2 as compared to T1, T3 and T4. The feed conversion ratios during the entire period were 2.21, 1.98, 2.60 and 2.7 (SEM = 0.05) for T1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively and better for T2 as compared to T1, T3 and T4.
Conclusion: Based on the results of the experiment, it can be concluded that sweet potato tuber meal at 15% levels in broilers ration diet enhanced feed intake and growth performance of broiler chicks. Based on the feed intake and growth performance of the broiler chicks, 15% graded level of SWPTM for maize in the diet is recommended according to the current study.