The efficacy of wetting sun-dried cassava tuber meal as a method of reducing its hydrocyanide (HCN) content and improving its nutritive value for laying hens was investigated. Cassava tubers were peeled, chopped into pieces, sun-dried and then milled. Part of the Sun-dried Cassava Tuber Meal (SCTM) was soaked in water at the rate of 5 parts of water to 4 parts of the meal, thinly spread on the floor for 5 h and then taken out and sun-dried again. The Raw Cassava Tuber Meal (RCTM), Sun-dried Cassava Tuber Meal (SCTM) and Wetted Sun-dried Cassava Tuber Meal (WSCTM) were analyzed for HCN content. Five diets were made such that diet 1 (control) contained no cassava tuber meal; in diets 2 and 3, 50% of the maize in diet 1 was replaced with SCTM and WSCTM, respectively, while in diets 4 and 5, 100% of the maize was replaced with SCTM and WSCTM, respectively. Each diet was fed to a group of 24 laying hens for 12 weeks. At the end of the feeding trial, 4 birds were randomly selected from each group and used for determination of internal organ weights and haematological indices. Raw cassava tuber meal contained 800 ppm HCN, SCTM contained 50 ppm HCN while WSCTM contained 10 ppm HCN. The group on 100% WSCTM diet consumed significantly (p<0.05) less feed, gained least body weight and recorded least hen-day egg production, possibly due to very powdery nature of the diet. Egg weight and feed conversion ratio were not affected by the treatments (p>0.05). Egg quality indices were also not affected by the treatments (p>0.05). Internal organ weights were not affected by the treatments (p>0.05) but the birds on cassava diets recorded significantly (p<0.05) more abdominal fat. The birds on cassava diets also recorded significantly (p<0.05) less WBC and PCV values relative to the control group.
G.E. Enyenihi, A.B.I. Udedibie, M.J. Akpan, O.L. Obasi and I.P. Solomon, 2009. Effects of 5 h Wetting of Sun-Dried Cassava Tuber Meal on the Hydrocyanide Content and Dietary Value of the Meal for Laying Hens. Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 4: 326-331.