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Title:   Amino Acid Reference Values for Selected Feedstuffs Used in the Nigerian Poultry Industry
Affiliation: Animal ScienceTechnology Department
 School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology
 Federal University of Technology, Owerri Imo State

Date: April, 2016


The main objective of this study was to establish reference protein composition values for
selected local feedstuffs such as dry brewers spent grain (DBSG), cassava meal (CAM), palm
kernel cake (PKC) and groundnut cake (GNC) for the Nigerian feed industry by determining
amino acids profiles and amino acids compositional quality scores. The selected local
feedstuffs were each sourced from five locations from northern and southern parts of Nigeria
such that there were five samples for each raw material and 20 samples in all. The samples
were analysed at Evonik Industry Laboratory, Germany. Results were generated on dry
matter (DM), crude protein (CP) standardized to a dry matter content of 88%, CP as is, total
amino acids (Taa) without NH₃, and NH₃ content. Total amino acids Essential amino acids,
non-essential amino acids, amino acid scores such as qualitative, quantitative and chemical
scores were calculated and values subjected to descriptive statistics such as mean, standard
deviation and coefficient of variation across samples values from different locations. This
study showed that all the sampled local feedstuffs were high in dry matter content, with
values ranging from 89.304 ± 0.857% recorded for CAM to 93.006 ± 0.456% recorded for
PKC. However, the coefficient of DM variation was less than 1.00%. CP content of the
DBSG, CAM, PKC and GNC sampled (as is), ranged from 0.988 ± 0.230% for CAM to
44.430 ± 6.600% for GNC, while the CV between the different samples ranged from 4.518%
recorded for PKC to 23.279% recorded for CAM. The Taa ranged from 0.837 ± 0.182%
recorded for CAM to 40.025 ±5.831% recorded for GNC, with high CVs of 21.744% for
CAM and 14.568% recorded for GNC values, indicating wide variations in Taa of samples
from different locations. Methionine content of the feedstuff ranged from the 0.014 ± 0.005%
recorded for CAM to the 0.441 ± 0.039% recorded for DBSG, with CVs of 35.714% and
11.004  for CAM and GNC respectively. Lysin values ranged from 0.045 ± 0.006% recorded
for CAM to 1.439 ± 0.162% recorded for GNC, with CVs across five samples of each
material being generally higher than 10% except for PKC. Again, threonine concentrations
 ranged from the 0.039 ± 0.008% recorded for CAM to the 1.150 ± 0.146% recorded for
GNC, while coefficient of variations between individual sample of DBSG and PKC were less
than 10% CV, but wide between samples of CAM and GNC. Isoleucine values ranged from
0.035 ± 0.011% recorded for CAM to 1.499 ± 0.225% recorded for GNC, however, the CV
between CAM and GNC were greater than 10%, while DBSG and PKC recorded less than
10% CVs. Mean values of leucine ranged from 0.068 ± 0.032% recorded for CAM to 2.771 ±
0.394% recorded for GNC, while the phenylalanine content ranged from 0.047 ± 0.017
recorded for CAM to 2.262 ± 0.354% recorded for GNC. Qualitative amino acid scores
showed that GNC was the richest protein source and was rich in all the essential amino acids
with exception of methionine. DBSG was rich in four essential amino acids (leucine, valine,
phenylalanine and arginine), while PKC was rich only in arginine and moderate in
isoleucine, leucine, valine and phenylalanine. CAM was poor in all essential and non
essential amino acids contents. The quantitative scores of the amino acid profiles of the
sampled feedstuffs showed that on mean Taa bases, PKC contained 47.92% essential amino
acids while GNC contained 43.24%, DBSG (42.21%) and CAM (41.19%). The percentage
mean total neutral amino acids in the feedstuffs ranged from 67.58% recorded in PKC to
90.68% recorded in DBSG indicating that these are the most abundant amino acids in the
feedstuffs. It was concluded that Nigerian GNC based diets should be supplemented with
synthetic methionine, while DBSG based diets should be supplemented with lysine,
methionine and to some extent threonine for them to drive optimal performance in
monogastric animals. Nigerian PKC cannot be regarded as a protein source since it requires
fortification with synthetic sources of almost all the essential amino acids. CAM based diets
should be supplemented with all the synthetic amino acids, especially the limiting amino
acids. Practical feeding trials with monogastric livestock should be carried out to validate
these results, since the study was limited to laboratory analysis.


Title:  Physiological Responses of Broilers to Dietary Inclusion of Palm Kernel Shell Ash

Affiliation: Animal Science Technology  Department
 School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology
 Federal University of Technology, Owerri Imo State

Date: April, 2016


Palm kernel shells (PKS) were collected, from a local palm processing unit in Imo state
Nigeria, cleaned and ashed at about 500OC to produce palm kernel shell ash (PKSA).
Ash yield of the PKS and physicochemical characteristics of the PKSA were determined. The
mineral content was also assayed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry to ascertain its
concentrations of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, manganese, copper,
zinc, iron and cobalt. Thereafter, ninety six Abor Acre day old chicks were used to assess
the physiological responses of PKSA as mineral supplement in broiler ration during starter
and finisher phases in a 56 days feeding trial. The birds were divided into four groups of
24 each (T1–T4), which were further replicated 3 times with 8 birds per replicate in a
completely randomized design (CRD). During each phase, four experimental diets were
formulated and offered to the birds such that the control diets had no PKSA, whereas the
other three diets contained graded levels of PKSA at 5, 10 and 15 kg/ton of feed respectively
to replace equal weights of bone meal. Performance characteristics were determined at days
seven and 28 days (starter phase) and 42 and 56 days (finisher phase). Proximate and mineral
compositions of the feeds were determined. At the 56th day of feeding, carcass and organ
weights analyses, hematology, serum biochemical indices and faecal mineral content of the
experimental birds were evaluated. Results obtained showed that PKSA had 92.68% dry
matter, 0.8206 g/cm3 bulk density, 0.8977 g water/g feed water holding capacity, 0.8149
specific gravity and was mildly alkaline (8.39). The order of mineral elements in PKSA was
K> Mg>Ca>P>Na>Fe> Mn>Zn> Cu, while that of the broiler starter diet was
K>P>Mg>Na>Ca>Fe>Mn>Zn>Cu and finisher diet P>Ca>K>Mg>Na>Fe> Mn>Zn>Cu.
Seventh day performance results showed that ash supplemented bird values of weight gain,
feed intake and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were similar to control values, while growth
efficiency ratio (GER) values were 2.18, 2.74, 2.12 and 2.76 for T1 to T4 respectively.
Percentage GIT segmental weights, pH and villi heights were normal. At the starter phase,
 growth performance characteristics were similar up to 10 kg PKSA inclusion/ton of feed (T3)
beyond which a decline was recorded. Similar growth performance trends were observed at
42 days of trial, while at 56 days, significant differences were recorded across treatments
with the control recording superior (p<0.05) growth performance characteristics over the ash
treated birds. Diet T3 fed birds nevertheless had comparable results with the control
(p>0.05). However, there was no significant differences (p>0.05) in FCR across the
treatments, while GER of PKSA treated birds consistently improved over those of the control
with increasing period of feeding. The faecal mineral values showed that while faecal Mg, K
and Zn concentrations of PKSA treated birds were higher than the control values, those of
Ca, Na, Mn, Fe and P decreased with increasing PKSA inclusion in the diets. Ash treated
diets elicited good carcass values, with significantly higher (p<0.05) T3 dressed, breast, thigh
and drumstick percentage values than T4 but similar to the control values. Similarly, all GIT
organ weights significantly (p<0.05) increased with PKSA inclusion over that of control
birds. All hematological, serum protein and electrolyte values also significantly (p<0.05)
improved over that of control. Again, cholesterol, creatinine and serum enzyme values were
significantly higher (p<0.05) than the control values. The differences in growth performance
observed in this study may be attributed to variations in feed intake of birds as influenced by
variations in diet electrolyte balance (DEB) (Na++ K+ - Cl-) resulting from PKSA inclusions.
Higher serum minerals values of birds on PKSA treated diets may possibly be due to better
absorption/assimilation of the forms in which the minerals appeared in the PKSA treated

Author: Ibrahim Hayatu Kubkomawa

Title:  Studies on Characteristics of Pastoral Cattle Production in Adamawa State, Guinea  Savannah Zone of Nigeria 

Affiliation: Animal Management Technology Department
 School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology
 Federal University of Technology, Owerri Imo State

Date: April, 2016


The main objective of the study is to characterize aspects of pastoral cattle production in Adamawa state, guinea savannah zone of Nigeria in order to understand the socio-cultural conditions of key stake holders, the common cattle breeds, available feed resources and morpho-physiological conditions of cattle grazing in the zone. The study was divided into two phases to elucidate production characteristics at the pastoralists and semi sedentary levels of production in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state namely, Mubi north, Gombi and Jada. Pastoralists‘ production component of the study was carried out with the aid of questionnaire, oral interview and field observations on 300 respondents spread across the three study LGAs, while the semi-sedentary component was carried out on one purposively identified cattle farm in each of three LGAs. Morpho-physiological parameters studied included body condition score (BCS), rectal temperature (RT), respiratory rate (RR), pulse rate (PT), hematological and serum biochemistry were determined. Most preferred dry season feed resources and water consumed by the animals were analyzed for the nutrient compositions and quality respectively. Data generated were subjected to descriptive statistics and interactions of different study parameters were also determined. Pastoral cattle production in Adamawa state was predominated by highly experienced (80 – 85%), married (75 - 88%), Fulani (95 – 65%) male (75 – 90%), Muslims (75 – 80%) aged mostly 31 – 40 years (48 – 55%) and having limited western education. White Fulani breed (50.00%) are most common in Gombi LGA, while Red Bororo (53.00%) and Adamawa Gudali (50.00%) were most predominant in Mubi North and Jada LGAs respectively. Most of the pastoralist (40 – 50%) maintained herd size of 41 to 50 heads and reared cattle for multiple purposes such as breeding, milk, meat and traction. Farmers practiced uncontrolled breeding, with bull to cow ratio of 1:10 (75.00% at Mubi north LGA). First mating (50 – 60%) was done between 4 and 5 years, while age at first calving was mostly (73 -75%) was mostly 5 – 7 years indicating serious reproductive life wastage. Most pastoralists (55 – 65%) use ethno-veterinary practices to enhance cattle reproductive performance. Calving rates (75 – 85%) were more during late rainy season (LRS), while (90.00%) depended on natural pastures for feeding their cattle. Cattle grazed 21 grasses and 19 legumes during the wet periods, while 12 crop residues, 7 by-products and 10 browse plants were offered during dry periods as supplements. Most of the pastoralists (70.00 - 90.00%) depended solely on natural flowing streams and rivers for the supply of water to their cattle. The major production constraints (43.33%) identified was diminishing natural resources characterized by shrinking land and vegetal resources. Methods for reducing poor morphometric effects of lean feed resources were forage conservation as hay, supplementation with tree fodder, migration and splitting of herds. BCS was significantly (p<0.05) better in Adamawa Gudali, semi-sedentary production and during LRS, while RT, RR and PR were significantly (p < 0.05) different across LGAs. RBC counts were normal but male values were significantly (p < 0.005) higher than the female values. Similarly, PCV, Hb and WBC were within normal range for cattle although significant (p<0.05) differences were observed across LGAs. Male AST, ALT and ALP values were also significantly different from female values although within normal range. Interactions of breed or management effects with morpho-physiological parameters were also significant (p<0.05) for PR, RBC count, PCV, MCV, MCH, MCHC, AST and ALT, with these interactions being more significant in Adamawa Gudali and Red Bororo in most cases. Pasture resources were more abundant during the LRS and EDS, while crop residues/browse resources predominated during the other seasons. It was concluded that Adamawa Gudali out-performed the other breeds on many parameters followed by Red Bororo, reflecting their earlier adaptation to the study area. The semi-sedentary production system generated better performance results than the pastoral system. The major constraints to pastoral cattle production in the study area were seasonal feed and water shortages, shrinking pasture lands, desertification linked to changes in the production environment, with resultant insecurity and poor animal performance. Appropriate government agencies should formulate policies to address the static socio-cultural conditions of pastoralists in Nigeria that resists adoption of agricultural technologies adapted to the realities of a modern world.


Title:  Effects of Graded Levels of Raw and Cooked Turmeric Rhizome on Performance of  Broiler Chickens

Affiliation: Animal Science Technology  Department
 School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology
 Federal University of Technology, Owerri Imo State

Date: June, 2016


Feeding trials were conducted to evaluate the effect of graded levels of raw and cooked
turmeric rhizome meal on the performance of broiler birds. Turmeric rhizome was washed
with water and divided into two batches of 40kg each. The first batch was crushed, sundried
for 3 days, ground to produce raw turmeric rhizome meal and bagged. The second batch was
cooked for an hour, crushed with a roller and sun-dried for 3 days. Both the raw and cooked
sundried turmeric rhizomes were then ground using a hammer mill to produce raw and
cooked turmeric rhizome meal respectively. Seven (7) broiler starter diets were formulated to
contain raw or cooked turmeric rhizome meal at 0% (common control diet), 0.5%, 1.0% and
1.5% levels, respectively. In the finisher phase, seven (7) finisher diets were formulated to
contain raw or cooked turmeric rhizome meal at 0% (common control diet), 1.0%, 1.5% and
2.0% levels, respectively. Both diets were offered ad libitum during their respective phases to
189 Cobb broilers divided into 7 dietary treatment groups, each containing 3 replicates of 9
birds per replicate. At the end of the finisher phase, 5 birds from each dietary treatment group
were selected, sacrificed and analysed for dressing percentage, organ weights, haematological
profile and serum biochemical composition. The results showed that diet-related differences
in final liveweigth, liveweight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio were not significant
(P>0.05) both at the starter and finisher phases. Similarly, dietary effects were not significant
(P>0.05) for nutrient digestibility, dressing percentage, carcass and organ weights, most
blood parameters and serum biochemical constituents. Significant differences (P<0.05) were
observed in red blood cell counts and packed cell volume, although no consistent trends were
established. It was evident that the different processing methods had no effect on broiler
performance based on the results obtained in this study and within the circumstances of the
experiments. It can be concluded that sun-dried raw and cooked turmeric rhizome meal did
not significantly affect broiler performance except packed cell volume and red blood cell


Title:  Studies on Dietary Fermented Mixture of Cassava and Palm Kernel Cake on Carcass  Characteristics of Broilers and Pigs

Affiliation: Animal Products Technology Department
 School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology
 Federal University of Technology, Owerri Imo State

Date: March, 2016


Five experiments were carried out to determine the effect of replacing maize with solid state fermented mixture of cassava root pulp and palm kernel cake on performance, carcass and meat quality of broiler chicks and pigs. First, 3 inoculation techniques were evaluated for their efficacy in solid state fermentation of the mixture namely; direct inoculation with Aspergillus niger, batch inoculation with previously inoculated samples, and spontaneous inoculation. In study 2, sundried spontaneously fermented samples (FEMCARPP) were used to replace maize in broiler chicks diets, whereas in study 3, the performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality of broiler finishers fed diets containing wet or sundried FEMCARPP were compared to the controls (maize based diet) and another diet containing a mixture of cassava root meal and palm kernel cake (CSM-PKC mix) as replacement for maize. In study 4, FEMCARPP was used to replace maize in diet of weaner pig whereas study 5 evaluated the performance, carcass and meat quality of pigs fed diets in which maize was replaced FEMCARPP and CSMPKC mix. Results show that, all inoculation techniques were efficient in improving the physicochemical characteristics of the mixture for inclusion in poultry ration. Dustiness of cassava meals was completely removed, protein content increased significantly, while crude fibre levels reduced in treatments relative to the control. Broiler chicks fed sundried FERMCARPP had significantly (p<0.05) lower live weight gains, feed intake, feed conversion ratio and cost per kg weight gain than those fed the control diet. Carcass characteristics were similar (p>0.05) while meat quality of chicks fed diets containing FEMCARPP was better (p<0.05) than the control and CSM-PKC mix diets. Chicks fed wet FEMCARPP had lower live weight gains and feed intake (p<0.05). Their feed conversion ratio was similar (p>0.05) to the control but superior to chicks fed diets containing sundried FEMCARPP and CSM-PKC mix. Cost per kg weight gained was better among chicks fed FEMCARPP without sun drying. Pigs at both weaner (study 4) and grower-finisher (study 5) stages fed diets on FEMCARPP was high (p<0.05) in live weight, weight gain, lower feed intake, feed conversion ratio and lower cost per kg weight gained. No significant differences were found for carcass characteristics of pigs. Meat of pigs fed maize based diets was significantly (p<0.05) higher water holding capacity and cooking loss; but with lower tenderness score when compared to those fed FEMCARPP based diets. Both were tenderer than those fed CSM-PKC diet. It is therefore concluded that solid state fermentation of spontaneously inoculated mixture of cassava root pulp and palm kernel cake is an effective tool for improving the nutritive value of the mixture for use in poultry and pig diets. The product can be used without further drying to replace maize in poultry and swine diets without detrimental effects on production, health, and carcass and meat quality of broilers and pigs. Solid state fermentation of spontaneously inoculated mixture of cassava root pulp and palm kernel cake is therefore recommended for poultry and pig farmers for efficient productivities and profit.