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International Journal of Poultry Science
Year: 2006  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 12  |  Page No.: 1160 - 1163

Production Performance, Meat Quality and Feed Cost Implications of Utilizing High Levels of Palm Kernel Cake in Broiler Finisher Diets

N.J. Okeudo, I.L. Onyike, C.V. Okoli and I.L. Chielo    

Abstract: Marshall broiler finishers were fed diets containing 0%, 15%, 30% and 45% palm kernel cake (PKC) from the 3rd till the 9th week of age. The effects of diet on growth rate, feed cost per unit live weight gain, carcass characteristics and organoleptic quality were determined. Diet-related differences in average daily feed intake were not significant (P > 0.05). The final live weights of broilers fed the 0%, 15% and 30% PKC diets were similar (approximately 1.9 - 2.0kg), and were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than the live weights of broilers reared on the 45% PKC diet (1.5 kg). Similarly, average daily live weight gain and feed conversion ratio were adversely affected by diet at the 45% PKC inclusion level (P < 0.05). However, feed costs per unit live weight gain were similar across the four experimental diets (P > 0.05). Effects of diet on carcass characteristics were limited to dressing percentage and percent head and gizzard contents (P < 0.05) and no significant differences were observed in meat tenderness, juiciness, flavour and hedonic scores (P > 0.05). It was concluded that up to the 45% inclusion level, feed intake and financial returns were not affected by the incorporation of PKC in broiler finisher diets.

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