ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 90 Number 1
Research Papers
Enzyme supplementation of undecorticated sunflower seed meal in laying hens’ diets. (41)
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The present study was conducted in a 2x4 factorial treatment arrangement on birds in early, mid and late laying periods. Six hundred and forty Nera black® laying birds were allocated to eight diets formulated where undecorticated sunflower seed meal (USFM) was used to replace 0, 25, 50, and 75% of the protein supplied by soybean meal with or without exogenous enzyme supplementation. The enzyme contained xylanase EC 3.2.1.8 and beta-glucanase EC 3.2.1.6 made from a fermentation broth of Penicillium funiculosum. The birds were further subdivided into four replicates groups consisting of twenty birds each. Performance, egg quality and nutrient utilization variables were measured among the treatment means. In the early lay period, results showed that final weight of the birds reduced significantly (P<0.05) as the level of USFM increased in the diet. Feed intake and egg produced per hen day followed the same trend. However, feed intake values were significantly reduced by enzyme addition. Between 28-41 weeks in lay, hen day egg production between birds on 0 and 25% USFM levels compared favourably well. The values recorded for birds on 50 and 75% USFM were much lower. There was a slight but significantly (P<0.05) higher hen day production due to enzyme addition. Between 14-27 weeks in lay, of all the parameters maintained similar values except shell weight due to USFM levels. Enzyme supplementation however increased significantly the shell thickness. During late lay period (28-41 weeks in lay) albumen height and shell thickness values were significantly (P<0.05) increased by the level of USFM in the diets. Dry matter digestibility decreased significantly (P<0.05) as the level of USFM increased. Ether extract digestibility values were significantly reduced across the dietary treatments. Ash digestibility also showed a significant (P<0.05) reduction in value as the concentration of USFM increased in the diets. Results revealed that significantly (P<0.05) higher dry matter, crude fibre and ash digestibility values were obtained as a result of enzyme supplementation. It was concluded that the use of undecorticated sunflower seed meal supplemented with a multi-enzyme mixture improved performance, egg quality and nutrient utilization at different stages of laying.
Keywords: Undecorticated sunflower seed meal, layers, enzyme supplementation