Biology and Life Sciences
Received: 17 Aug 2019 , Published: 20 August 2019
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High cost of fishmeal used in broiler diets often challenges profit margin of boiler production. Hence, researchers are more focused on evaluating alternative animal protein sources to cut down the feed cost which accounts for 60 to 75% of the total production cost. In this context, sprat-head meal (SHM) was studied to partially replace fishmeal in broiler finisher diet. Sixty-four Lohmann Indian River broiler chicks were divided into four groups with two replicates for each. For the first 21 days, chicks were fed with Prima broiler starter ration. Finisher basal diet was formulated using 5% fishmeal (SHM0) to have 18.9% crude protein (CP) and 2 990.8 kcal/kg of metabolizable energy. Experimental diets were prepared by replacing 25% (SHM25), 50% (SHM50) and 75% (SHM75) of fishmeal in the basal diet. All the birds were fed with the finisher diet from 22 to 42 d. At the end of the study, live weight (LW), average weight gain (AWG), average daily gain (ADG), dressing percentage (DP), feed intake, FCR, viability, European Production Efficiency Factors (EPEF) and European Broiler Index (EBI) were estimated. Results showed that there was not any difference (P>0.05) in LW, AWG, ADG, DP, FCR, EPEF and EBI of the birds among the treatments. Mean LW when birds entered finisher phase at 21 d was 806±3.2 g. AWG at the finisher phase (22 to 42 d) were: SHM0, 1 107 g; SHM25, 1 097 g; SHM50, 1 055 g and SHM75, 1 048 g. Overall ADG of the birds were: SHM0, 52.7 g/bird; SHM25, 52.2 g/bird; SHM50, 50.3 g/bird and SHM75, 49.9 g/bird. DP ranged from 60.7% to 71.8%. Average FCR during the finisher phase were: SHM0, 2.8; SHM25, 2.8; SHM50, 2.9 and SHM75, 2.9. Overall mean EPEF and EBI of the groups were 416 and 201 respectively. As the dietary replacement of fishmeal did not cause any differences in the productive performances of broiler chicken, SHM can be used to replace 75% of fishmeal (w/w) without challenging the production performances of broiler chicks.
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