The rising cost of commercial non-ruminant feeds in Ghana has necessitated a search for local alternatives such as modified crop residues. The present study was carried out to investigate the extent to which maize stalk potash treatment might improve groundnut shell biodegradability and whether or not a low dietary intake of the treated groundnut shell would support the growth of rats. Groundnut Shell (GS) meal was immersed in 1% (w/v) potash, pH 11.2, for 24 h at room temperature (solid to liquid ratio of 1:4). The enzymatic degradation of the cellulose fraction of groundnut shell in vitro increased 18 fold following the potash treatment. Three dietary treatments were evaluated on five randomly selected rats over a period of four weeks: normal broiler mash diet, broiler mash partially substituted with either 10% potash-treated GS or 10% untreated GS. The mean values for daily feed intake (g rat-1) were 14.2±1.4, 15.8±1.3 and 13.2±0.8 while the specific growth rates were 2.03±0.06, 2.34±0.20 and 2.31±0.15 for normal diet, untreated GS and potash-treated GS, respectively. Although the differences were not statistically significant, the growth performance of rats fed on the diet partially substituted with potash-treated GS appeared to be better than the other two groups. The feed conversion ratio of 4.05±0.48 for this dietary treatment was the lowest. Taken together, the results suggest that a low dietary concentration of alkali-treated GS should support the growth of rats and other monogastrics without supplementation with costly feed additives.
How to cite this article:
N.A. Adamafio, P. Addo, K. Osei-Boadi and R. Janha, 2012. Potash Pretreatment Enhances Carbohydrate Biodegradability and Feed Potential of Groundnut (Arachis hypogea) Shell Meal. Journal of Applied Sciences, 12: 1408-1412.
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