EFFECT OF FEED PARTICLE SIZE ON GROWTH PERFORMANCE OF BROILER CHICKENS IN GHANA
|D. Oppong-Sekyere1* A. Donkoh1 and A. Addo2
|Corresponding Author: D. Oppong-Sekyere, E-mail: [email protected]|
|Received: 01 April 2012 Accepted: 10 May 2012|
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Maize supplies poultry with a major part of their energy requirement particularly in Ghana and some other parts of the world. However, most feed producers especially in Ghana do not examine feed particles size as a quality indicator in assessing feed preparation. Particle size of an ingredient is therefore very critical in achieving optimum utilization by animals. The manner in which ingredients are ground and the coarseness of that grind has a direct impact on the physiology of birds. The effect of feed particle size was investigated in a five-week study using 120 mixed-sex four week-old Cobb-500 broiler chickens. The birds were allocated randomly (completely randomized design) to three diets designated as T1 ,T2 and T3 each of which contained maize of varying particle sizes namely ‘smooth,’ ‘coarse’ and ‘very coarse’. All diets had identical formulation and specifications with the only variable being the size of the ground maize. Birds had free access to feed and water. Parameters studied included feed intake, body weight gain, feed conversion efficiency, mortality, and carcass parameters. Feed cost per kg diet and feed cost per kg body weight gain were estimated. The results of the study indicated variations in the mean body weights at the end of the five-week experimental period. Birds fed on diet T1 consumed the least feed but were more efficient in converting feed to weight gain. Birds on diet T1 registered the highest dressing percentage while gizzard and liver weights were highest for birds on T3. Five mortalities were recorded, three from birds on dietary treatment T1 and one each from dietary treatments T2 and T3. Feed cost averaged GH¢0.30 per kg for all the treatments but cost of feed to produce a kg body weight was highest for birds on diet T3. Based on the fact that improvement in feed efficiency is more consistent for particle size reduction, a mean particle size of maize diet between 600 and 900μm is recommended for poultry farmers. Moreover, a routine particle size monitoring programme should include checking ground grain or one complete diet at least twice a year to assist feed millers produce feed of optimal particle size. Once these are made available to the poultry industry, production would be increased hence high income and better standard of living.