As an animal nutritionist (in view), have taken the responsibility to proffer means of feeding livestock at low cost; part of my findings is the use of cassava chips and cassava pellets as an energy source in poultry feed without compromising the chickens’ performance, irrespective of your purpose of production, either egg or meat.
I have found out that cassava products can replace up to 50 percent of corn in poultry diet.
You would vehemently agree with me that the cost of feeding poultry chickens account for not less than 70 percent of the total cost of production. The implication of this is; for you to make money as a poultry farmer, you need to find ways to reduce the cost of feeding without compromising the productivity of your flock.
If you could do this successfully, then, you would earn handsomely from your poultry business.
What makes up poultry feed?
Before deciding on how to reduce the cost of feeding your birds, you need to understand the composition of the feed itself.
Poultry birds need a balanced diet, that is, feed rich in all essential nutrients in the right quantity and quality. Energy and protein sources account for about 90-95 percent of the total feed composition.
Corn or soybean account for 60 and 30 percent or 55 and 35 percent respectively in poultry diet. Corn is commonly used as an energy source.
It is the best energy source for poultry chickens, containing about 70 percent total digestible energy and metabolizable energy of 3412Kcal/kg. It also has a crude protein content of 9-10 percent. Corn is an undisputed source of energy for poultry feed.
However, the cost of corn is quite expensive; poultry farmers need another source to palliate the huge cost of corn without compromising the performance of the chickens.
Several research works have been done to this effect and cassava has been found to replace corn in poultry diet up to 50 percent. This is a huge development.
Nutritional composition of cassava chips and pellets
Research work was published by the Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences in 2015, estimated the nutritional composition of cassava during the process of determining the effects of cassava pellets and chips in poultry diet.
Cassava products are copious; but for feeding livestock, cassava chips and pellet are the most suitable products. These two products were analyzed on a DM basis and the table below shows the nutritional composition of cassava chips and cassava pellets.
|Dry matter (%)
|Crude protein (%)
|Crude fat (%)
|Total starch (%)
|Resistant starch (%)
|Total insoluble NSP (%)
NSP= Non-Starch Polysaccharides.
Based on this composition, research was carried out using 384 broiler chicken day old chicks for 21 days.
Three (3) Balanced rations were formulated for these chickens within a varying composition. Each diet contains, maize grain, cassava chips, and cassava pellets with other nutrients to ensure a balanced nutrient composition.
The result of cassava chips and pellets in poultry diet
At the end of the experiment, several observations were noted and a guide was deduced to enable farmers to use cassava as an alternative source of energy in poultry diet.
The chickens responded well to diet formulated with maize but little variations were observed with the cassava products.
The parameters tested were Feed intake, Live weight gain, Metabolizable energy intake, Heat production, Feed conversion ratio and Net energy production with and without enzymes.
- Feed intake: At the end of day 21, it was observed that feed intake in the diet containing cassava chips was low compared to the diet containing cassava pellet.
- Live weight gain: The live weight gain of chickens fed with cassava chips diet was significantly reduced compared to cassava pellet.
- Metabolizable energy intake: This was reduced in chicken fed with both cassava chips and pellets.
- Heat production: Diet containing cassava pellets has the highest heat production
- Feed conversion ratio: The feed conversion ratio was significantly poor in diets containing cassava products.
- Net energy production: The control diet, containing maize, has the highest net energy production.
However, with the inclusion of exogenous enzymes such as carbohydrase, protease, and phytase at the recommended rate, the above parameters were greatly improved for all the diets.
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For better performance using cassava chips or cassava pellets as a replacement for the energy source, exogenous enzymes have to be added to the diet to improve the digestibility of the cassava products.
The metabolizable energy of all the diets was similar but the Metabolizable energy intake was low in cassava chips and pellets diet because of the high fiber content of cassava. However, this was increased greatly with the inclusion of enzymes in the diet.
Cassava pellets can be used up to a level of 50 percent with enzyme supplementation in broiler diets. It is higher than cassava chips in other amino acids such as methionine, threonine, arginine, histidine, tyrosine, and glycine.
Read also: GUIDE ON USING SALT AS PART OF ANIMAL FEED INGREDIENTS
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