Growth performance, apparent nutrient digestibility, intestinal morphology and carcass traits of broiler chickens fed dry, wet and fermented-wet feed
Department of Animal Production and Health, Federal University of Agriculture, P.M.B. 2240, Abeokuta, Nigeria; Department of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production, Federal University of Agriculture, P.M.B. 2240, Abeokuta, Ni
This study seeks to investigate the growth performance, intestinal morphology, carcass traits and apparent nutrient digestibility of broiler chickens fed with dry, wet and fermented-wet feed. Three experimental diets were formulated in this study. Diet 1 was dry mash feed. Diet 2 was wet mash feed in a 1:1.3 mix with water. Diet 3, was fermented-wet mash feed in a 1:1.3 mix with water which was fermented for 24. h in sealed plastic polythene bags prior to feeding. A total of 192 two-weeks-old broilers (Marshal strain) were randomly assigned to the experimental diets in a completely randomized design (CRD). Each treatment group was replicated four times with 16 birds per replicate. Each dietary treatment was fed immediately to the birds after re-constitution. Fermentation of the feed reduced (P<0.05) the pH from 6.61 to 4.37. Birds fed fermented-wet and wet mash recorded higher (P<0.05) final live weight and weight gain. Feed intake and feed conversion ratio were not affected (P>0.05) by wet and fermented-wet fed birds compared to the dry fed birds. Mortality was not affected by dietary treatment imposed. Apparent organic matter digestibility was higher (P<0.05) in birds fed fermented-wet feed when compared to birds fed with dry and wet feed. Intestinal villus morphology and carcass measurement were not affected (P>0.05) by the treatment imposed. However, birds fed wet feed showed lower (P<0.05) gizzard weight when compared to birds fed fermented-wet feed. Birds fed with fermented-wet mash recorded higher (P<0.05) abdominal fat than those fed with dry mash. The results of this study indicated fermented-wet feeding improved apparent organic matter digestibility with a resultant improved growth performance of broiler chicken. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.