Response of Laying Hens to Dietary Levels of Cooked Lablab purpureus Beans
This study was conducted to determine the response of
laying hens to graded dietary levels of cooked Lablab purpureus
beans. Six isonitrogenous diets with similar calorie levels were formulated
to contain lablab seed meal at 0.0, 7.5, 15.0, 22.5, 30.0 and 37.5%, respectively.
Diet 1, which contained no lablab, served as the control diet. It was
a normal groundnut cake-maize based layers ration. Each treatment was
replicated three times in a completely randomized design. There were 25
laying hens per replicate. Feed and water were provided ad libitum.
The birds were managed under the deep litter system. The experiment lasted
for 6 months. There was a significant (p>0.05) decrease in final weight,
percent change in body weight, feed intake (g bird-1 day-1),
feed efficiency, percent hen-day and hen-housed egg production, percent
production at peak, average egg weight (g) and income above feed expenses
(x) as the level of lablab beans in the diets increased but feed cost
(x/12 eggs), age at 25, 50 and at peak egg production (days) and the Roche
Yolk Colour Fan (RYCF) score increased significantly (p<0.05) as dietary
level of lablab seeds increased. It was concluded that lablab seed meal
can be fed up to 7.5% dietary level in layers ration without any significant
(p>0.05) adverse effect on percent hen-day and hen-housed egg production.
The poultry industry has suffered more than any other livestock sector
as a result of the problem arising from inadequate supply of feed. There
is high cost of feeding poultry arising largely from fluctuations in feed
supplies, rising prices of ingredients, poor quality feeds and inefficiency
in production and distribution in the feed industry (Kperegbeyi and Onwumere,
2007; Emenalom et al., 2007). This situation has caused many small
and large-scale poultry farmers to fold up. However efforts have been
made in the use of other cheap sources of ingredients for poultry feed
such as palm kernel cakes, cottonseed cakes and sunflower meal in order
to lower feed cost and these have yielded encouraging results. However,
more needs to be done because the improvement in the poultry industry
will depend largely on the availability of good quality and cheap feeds
compounded from well-processed unconventional legumes (Toleun and Igba,
2007; Adebimpe et al., 2007; Oladunjoye et al., 2005; Ani
and Adiegwu, 2005). Fortunately, there is abundance of seeds of several
legumes, which are presently being cultivated as fodder for ruminant feed
which can be explored for poultry ration formulation. Among these are
lablab purpureus beans.
Presently there is much interest in the cultivation of lablab purpureus
because of its nature as a dual-purpose legume. It remains green far into
the dry season, easy to cultivate, very rich in nutrient, the leaves are
quite palatable to ruminants and it is rapidly gaining acceptance by farmers
in northern Nigeria. Indeed Lablab purpureus looks promising as
the legume of the future for both ruminant and monogastric nutrition (Bawa
et al., 2003a). In view of this the objective of this study is
therefore to determine the response of laying hens to dietary levels of
Lablab purpureus beans with the aim of using this unconventional
feedstuff in laying hen=s ration.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This study was carried out at the Poultry Research Unit of the National
Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI), Ahmadu Bello University,
Shika, Zaria, Nigeria, from March to August 2003. Shika is geographically
located between latitude 11° 12`N and longitude 7° 33`E at an
altitude of 640 m above sea level (Akpa et al., 2002). Shika is
located about 20 km along the Zaria Sokoto road in Kaduna state, North
Western Nigeria. It has three distinct climatic seasons. These are the
cold dry season (November-February), the hot dry season (March-May) and
the wet season (June-October). The total annual rainfall ranges from 617
to 1365 mm with a 50 year average of 1041 mm Most of the rains fall between
July and September (Bawa et al., 2003b).
The Lablab purpureus beans used for this experiment is the Rongai
variety. It is milky white in colour. They were obtained from the Sabon-gari
market in Zaria, Nigeria. The cooking duration to properly process lablab
beans was 30 min as determined in an earlier experiment (Abeke et al.,
For each cooking time 50 L of water was first brought to boiling in a
200 L metal drum container. The batch (25 kg) of lablab beans was then
poured into the boiling water. From this point, the beans were cooked
for 30 min. At the end of the period of cooking, the excess water was
drained off and the cooked beans were sun dried for 3 days before milling.
The average ambient temperature for the three days of drying was 32°C
and average relative humidity was 35%. After sun drying, chemical evaluation
of the processed lablab beans was done according to AOAC (1990) procedure
Six isonitrogenous and isocaloric rations were formulated to contain
lablab bean meal at 0.0, 7.5, 15.0, 22.5, 30.0 and 37.5 percent respectively
(Table 2). Each diet constituted a treatment and each
treatment was replicated three times in a complete randomized design.
There were 25 layers per replicate. The birds used were the Shika brown
commercial layers. Feed and water were provided ad libtum. The
experiment lasted for six months. The average initial weight of the birds
per replicate was taken before the commencement of the feeding trials.
They were again weighed at the end of the experiment to determine weight
gain or loss. Data collected included feed intake, which was measured
weekly and egg production were recorded daily. For the egg quality analysis,
three freshly laid eggs were sampled per replicate, weighed, using the
mettler PM 4600 electronic platform scale. The eggs were broken in a flat
white plate. The yolk and albumin width and height were measured using
a vernier caliper. This was done for 3 consecutive days for each month
for the duration of the experiment. The shells were sun-dried for three
days before being we had used the mettler scale while the shell thickness
was measured using the vernier caliper.
||Chemical composition of cooked Lablab purpureus beans
|These are average values of 3 determinations of the
cooked lablab beans
All data collected were subjected to the analysis of variance using the
SAS (1985) general linear model procedure. Differences between treatment
means were separated using Duncans Multiple Range Test (Steel and Torrie,
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The result obtained for the chemical composition of the cooked lablab
beans (Table 1) shows that lablab beans has fairly high
level of crude protein, ether extract and calcium which can be utilize
for poultry diet formulation. The result also demonstrate that as the
level of inclusion of lablab beans in layer diets increased (Table
2), there was a corresponding significant (p>0.05) reduction in
the performance of the birds in terms of final weight, feed intake, feed
efficiency, hen-day and hen-housed egg production, percent peak egg production
and average final egg weight (Table 3). Feed intake
and feed cost per 10 eggs, 12 eggs and per kilogram eggs increased significantly
(p<0.05) as the level of lablab beans in the diets increased. The same
trend was observed for age at 25, 50% and at percent peak egg production
(Table 4). For the egg quality parameters, the result
shows that there was a slight but significant (p<0.05) increase in
egg weight, weight of eggshell and RYCF scores at 25, 50% and at percent
peak egg production as the level of lablab beans in the diets increased
(Table 5). This increase in average egg weight at 25,
50% and at percent peak egg production did not however translate into
final average egg weight which were found to decrease as the level of
lablab beans in the diets increased (Table 3). This
shows that the birds on lower dietary levels of lablab beans possibly
laid bigger eggs towards the end of their laying period. Other egg quality
parameters such as yolk index, haugh unit, percent shell and shell thickness
were not significantly (p>0.05) affected by feeding graded dietary
levels of Lablab purpureus beans in the diets of laying hens (Table
The final live weight of the laying hens showed a significant (p>0.05)
decrease as the level of lablab in the diet increased. The same trend
was observed for the percent change in body weight. This result agrees
with the report of Ja=afaru (2001), Najime (2003) and Adeyemi and Adeyemi
(2000). These authors fed lablab beans and soyabeans, respectively as
replacement for groundnut cake in the diets of laying hens and reported
decreases in weight gain as the levels of these unconventional legume
seeds increased in the diet. The authors attributed this to the low quality
of the protein contained in these legumes. Igene et al. (2002)
had earlier reported that lablab seed is deficient in essential amino
acids such as methionine, lysine and tryptophan, which are necessary for
optimum performance of chickens.
Feed intake (g bird-1 day-1) was significantly
(p<0.05) higher for the control diet, which had no lablab seed meal
when compared to other diets containing lablab seed meal. The result showed
a gradual decrease in feed intake as the level of lablab in the diets
increased. This result is similar to the result obtained by Ani and Okorie
(2003) who reported reduced feed intake when graded level of castor oil
bean was fed in the diets of broiler finisher. Similarly, Bawa et al.
(2003b) reported reduced feed intake in young pigs when graded levels
of lablab seeds were incorporated in their diets. Amaefule and Onwudike
(2000) also reported reduced feed intake in rabbits fed graded levels
of pigeon pea meals. Akanji et al. (2003) reported a decrease in
feed intake when sesame seeds were fed in the diet of broilers. Ja=faru
(2001) reported decreases in feed intake when graded level of lablab was
fed in the diets of broiler finishers. All these authors attributed the
reduction in feed intake when these unconventional legume seeds were fed
to monogastric animals to lower palatability of these seeds compared to
groundnut cake. The authors also argued that phytic acid and tannin present
in most legumes are not easily destroyed by heat and they are implicated
in reduced feed intake in monogatric animals. Report by Bawa et al.
(2003a) shows only 31 and 45% destruction of phytic acid and tannin after
boiling lablab seeds for 30 min at 100°C. Igene et al. (2002)
had earlier reported that lablab seed contain high level of phytic acid
and tannin, which impairs their utilization by monogastric animals.
||Composition of graded levels of Lablab purpureus beans diets
fed to layers
|Biomix layers premix supplied the following per kg diet;
Vit A,8500 iu; Vit D3; 1500 iu;Vit E,10 iu; Vit K, 1 mg;
Thiamine B1, 1.5 mg; Riboflavin B2, 4.5 mg;
Pyridoxine B6, 3 mg; Niacine, 15 mg; Vit B12,
0.015 mg; Pantothenic acid, 4.5 mg; Folic acid, 0.6 mg; Biotin, 0.5
mg; Choline chloride, 175 mg ; Anti oxidant, 1.25 mg; Manganese, 40
mg; Zinc, 30 mg; Iron, 20 mg; Copper, 3 mg; Iodine,1 mg; Selenium,0.2
mg; Cobalt,0.2 mg
||Response of laying hens to graded levels of Lablab purpureus
Means within the same row with different superscripts
are significantly different (p<0.05), SEM = Standard Error of
the Means, FI = Feed Intake, FE = Feed Efficiency, BW = Body Weight,
Wt = Weight
Feed efficiency (No of. eggs kg-1 feed), hen-day and hen-housed
egg production, percent production at peak and average egg weight were
found to be significantly (p<0.05) higher for the control diet than
for all other diets, which contained lablab seed. This is understandable
because the biological value of groundnut cake in terms of nutrient profile
and digestibility and hence, the ability to supply necessary body nutrients
for maintenance and production is better than that of lablab seeds (Bawa
et al., 2003b; Ogundipe et al., 2003; Ani and Okeke, 2003).
According to Bawa et al. (2003a), the digestibility of lablab seed
for monogastrics is very low, usually below 50%. This low protein digestibility
according to the authors is often associated with the presence of trypsin
inhibitors, haemagglutinins and tannins. Igene et al. (2002) reported
that two haemagglutinins isolated from the seed of some Indian varieties
of lablab when fed to rats caused a marked depression in intake and weight
gain. The authors went further to state that even after heat treatment,
lablab seed proteins
Effect of graded levels of lablab purpureus beans on feed efficiency,
feed cost and age to 50% production of laying hens
|Means within the same row with different superscripts
are significantly different (p<0.05), SEM = Standard Error of the
||Effect of graded levels of lablab seed meal diets on egg quality
|Means within each column with different superscripts
are significantly (p<0.05) different, SEM = Standard Error of the
Means, RYCF = Roche Yolk Colour Fan
were utilized for rat growth, only 25% as efficiently as Casein. This
they attributed to polyphenolic compounds (tannins) in the seed coat.
Legume grain proteins generally have a low biological value and this is
often associated with low levels of the essential amino acids, methionine
and cystine. The levels of lablab in the diet did not affect mortality
rate. This indicates that the heat treatment applied rendered the seed
adequately safe for consumption by the birds. Balogun et al. (2001)
also did not record any mortality when cooked soyabean was incorporated
in broiler diets. Feed per ten eggs, per dozen eggs and per kilogramme
eggs produced were found to be significantly (p<0.05) better for the
control group, which contained no lablab seed than for all the other groups
fed graded levels of lablab in their diets (Table 4).
This is attributed to better efficiency of feed utilization by birds in
the control group. This in turn may be attributed to better nutrient supply
by the groundnut cake based diet as opposed to the diets containing lablab
seeds. Similar results have been reported by Balogun et al. (2001),
Kaankuka et al. (2000), Bawa et al. (2003b) and Apata (2003).
A similar trend was observed for feed cost (x/10 eggs, x/dozen eggs and
x/kg eggs) where the control diet significantly (p<0.05) out-performed
other diets in terms of lowering cost of producing eggs (Table
4). This is against the background that although increasing the level
of lablab in the diets lowers feed cost per kilogram feed, the most important
factor that determines cost of production and returns on input is the
efficiency with which the birds convert the feed they eat to edible meat
or eggs and not feed cost perse (Abeke et al., 2003; Apata, 1998).
It had earlier been stated that the better nutrient profile of the control
diet as compared to the other diets in terms of higher levels of the essential
amino acids especially methionine and lysine, which are higher in groundnut
cake than in lablab seeds, may have been responsible for the better utilization
of the control diet.
Income above feed expenses was found to be significantly (p<0.05)
better for the birds on the control diet than for all the other birds
on lablab diets. As the level of lablab increased in the diet, there was
a corresponding decrease in the profit margin.
The value obtained in this experiment for age of birds at 25, 50% and
at peak egg production (Table 4) showed that the layers
in the control group reached this production level faster than those on
other diets. This suggests the possibility that the control diet may have
met the maintenance and production requirements of the layers better than
other diets containing lablab seeds. This result is similar to that obtained
by Apata (2003). The author reported that higher production in laying
hens is attained faster when there is adequate and balanced nutrients
in their diets.
Egg quality parameters showed significances (p<0.05) for egg weight,
Roche Yolk Colour Fan Score (RYCF score) and weight of shell (Table
5). Egg weight increased as the level of lablab increased in the diet
up to 22.5% inclusion level before decreasing. The reason for this trend
is not clear. The Roche Yolk colour Fan Score which is an indication of
the intensity of the colour of the egg yolk, increased significantly (p<0.05)
as the level of the lablab in the diet increased. This showed that lablab
seeds contained some yolk-pigmenting factor. However, none of the lablab
seed diet could give the consumer the minimum acceptable RYCF score of
4 (Abeke et al., 2003; Olorede and Longe, 2000). The weight of
the egg shell followed the same trend as the egg weight. There was a gradual
increase in weight of the eggshell up to the 22.5% lablab inclusion level
before it started to decline. The reason for this is obvious. It is known
that the bigger the egg, the bigger the need to secret more calcium and
phosphorus for the shell to accommodate the egg. A similar result was
obtained by Abeke et al. (1997) in an experiment to determine the
effect of sun-dried sheep manure on egg quality parameters of laying hens.
Other egg quality parameters such as Haugh unit value, shell thickness,
percent shell and yolk index were not significantly (p>0.05) affected
by including lablab in the diets of laying hens.
From the result obtained in this experiment it can be concluded that
cooked Lablab purpureus beans can be included up to 7.5% in the
diets of laying hens without any adverse effect. This will help to reduce
feed cost (x/kg feed) by at least 1.7%.
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