ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 92 Number 2
Utilization of sorghum grains in diets of laying hens in Nigeria. (155)
The study examined the effects of raw sorghum grains on laying performance, mineral digestibility and egg quality of hens in a twelve week feeding trial. A total of one hundred and sixty (160) layers (Nera brown) 28 weeks of age were randomly allotted into five dietary groups. The raw sorghum grains (RSG) were incorporated into the diets at 5%, 10%, 20% and 30% levels. Results showed higher amounts of tannin in the RSG. Feed intake was significantly (P<0.05) reduced in hens fed 30% raw sorghum grains. Egg weight was significantly (P<0.05) reduced with increasing levels of the RSG, but more pronounced in hens fed 30% RSG. Hen day production was higher (P<0.05) in hens fed 5%, 10% and 20% RSG, but markedly (P<0.05) reduced in hens fed 30% RSG. Regression analysis showed a linear decrease in both the egg weight and hen day production with increasing tannin intake (r values = 0.71; - 0.75).The mineral digestibility showed higher values for calcium, phosphorus and iron in groups of birds fed 5%, 10% and 20% RSG. The egg analysis showed higher yolk index, haugh unit and yolk weight in eggs laid by hens fed with RSG from 5% to 20% levels, but reduced in those fed 30% RSG. It is therefore concluded in this study that at the higher inclusion level of 30%, tannin intake increased and had a negative effect on the laying performance of the hens.
Keywords: Sorghum, laying performance, egg quality