ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 57 Number 2
Effect of groundnut meal as the sole supplementary dietary protein on the performance of broiler chickens
The effects were studied of using groundnut meal either as the sole source of supplementary protein, or with the addition of fishmeal, in broiler rations fed at different protein and energy levels. In the absence or presence of fishmeal broiler starters and finishers performed best at dietary protein levels of 23 and 20 per cent, respectively. A dietary energy content of 10·88 MJ/kg was preferable to one of 12·56 MJ/kg for broiler starters but not for finishers. Ground-nut meal as the sole source of supplementary protein was satisfactory for finishers but not so for broiler starters. Birds fed exclusively on unsupplemented groundnut meal rations took 13 to 20 days longer to attain the same weights as birds fed rations containing both groundnut and fishmeal from day old to market age (nine weeks). When the unsupplemented groundnut meal ration was introduced at six weeks of age, it took only three extra days to attain weights similar to those obtained with fishmeal rations. The omission of fish-meal from the rations and reduction of energy in the unsupplemented ground-nut meal ration resulted in lower feed costs per kilogramme gain.