Use of Cottonseed Meal as protein Supplement in Layer rations

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University of Dar es Salaam
A study involving Ukiriguru type of cottonseed meal with 33.3% cp, 0.05% free gossypol and 7.14% either extract was under taken to evaluate its effects on performance of layers and egg quality characteristics. Cottonseed meal was incorporated at 0, 6, 12, and 18% at the expense of simsim meal and wheat pollards to form four diet treatments which were almost iso-nitrogenous and metabolizable energy content tended to decrease with increasing cottonseed meal addition and ranged from 2730 to 2825 koal/kg. Each diet was fed to 3 replicated groups of 24 week old white longhorn pullets which were randomly distributed in randomized block design. The birds were housed individually in cages and group fed (13 birds per group) and watered ad libitum for a period of 19 weeks. Daily records of egg production and weekly egg size were kept and feed intake and live body weights were measured at 21 day intervals and mortality was recorded whenever it occurred. Egg samples for egg quality evaluation were collected after 21 days of feeding on the experimental diets and 30 day intervals thereafter. Egg quality characteristics were evaluated with samples of fresh eggs and eggs stored for 30 days at room temperature or under refrigeration. Egg production, egg size, feed consumption, feed efficiency, gains in live body weight and mortality were not significantly affected (p<0.05) by the diet treatments. Egg quality characteristics of albumin height, egg shell thickness, egg yolk colour, egg yolk and albumin discoloration of eggs examined fresh and those stored at room temperatures were not affected by diet treatments. With cold stored eggs from hens fed on diets containing 12 and 18% cottonseed meal, dark or olive yolk discoloration attributable to gossypol was present and the results suggest that yolk discoloration started to occur when dietary free gossypol content was between 0.003 and 0.006%. From the findings of this study it is concluded that Ukiriguru type of cottonseed meal can be incorporated in layer diets since it is cheaper and has no adverse effects on layer performance. Though eggs are not held under prolonged storage in Tanzania which may result into egg yolk discoloration, a level of 10 – 12% cottonseed meal is recommended in layer diets as a margin of safety.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF SF494.K5)
Poultry, Egg production
Kinabo, J.P. (1980) Use of Cottonseed Meal as protein Supplement in Layer rations, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam