Evaluation of cellulolytic enzyme supplementation on production indices and nutrient utilization of laying hens fed soybean hull based diets
International Journal of Poultry Science
Department of Animal Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, P. M. B. 1526, Owerri, Nigeria; Department of Animal Production, Michael Okpara College of Agriculture, Umuagwo, Imo State, Nigeria
A 120-day feeding trial was conducted to evaluate cellulolytic enzyme supplementation on production indices and nutrient utilization of laying hens fed soybean hull based diets. Seven experimental layers diets were formulated incorporating soybean hull meal at 0%, 10%, 20%, 30% (without enzyme supplementation) and 10, 20 and 30% (with 2.0% enzyme supplementation) dietary levels respectively. One hundred and forty seven (147), Shikka brown layers already 12 months in lay were divided into 7 groups of 21 birds each and randomly assigned to the 7 treatment diets in a completely randomized design (CRD). There were significant differences (P<0.05) in feed intake, feed conversion ratio, hen-day production, feed cost/dozen eggs, egg weight, Haugh unit, digestibility of crude protein, ether extract and crude fibre among the groups. However, there were no significant differences (P>0.05) among the groups in body weight, egg yolk colour, shell thickness, albumen and yolk indices, horizontal and oblong circumferences and digestibility of dry matter and ash respectively. The group on 30% dietary level of soybean hull meal (without enzyme supplementation) performed significantly (P<0.05) better than the other groups in hen-day egg production, feed cost/dozen eggs and egg weight. The results of this experiment suggest that 2.0% "safzyme" cellulolytic enzyme supplementation at 30% dietary level of soybean hull meal in layer diet could not significantly affect the performance of laying hens. © Asian Network for Scientific Information, 2005.