The Performance Response of Scavenging Chickens to Nutrient Intake from Scavengeable Resources and from Supplementation with Energy and Protein
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An experiment conducted under farm conditions and management determined the daily supplemental intake, performance and nutrient specifications of scavenging chickens supplemented with energy and protein either alone separately or in cafeteria. Supplementing scavenging chickens with protein and energy (soyabean meal together with maize meal) in cafeteria (ScSM) resulted in 64.86 g/bird /day intake of supplemental feed which was 105.6 and 64.24% higher than protein alone (ScS) and energy alone (ScM) supplemented separately respectively. Gain, feed conversion ratio, and mean egg weights, egg mass and percent production was significantly higher for ScSM compared with other treatments. The calculated dry matter, crude protein, lysine, tryptophan, methionine + cystine, crude fibre, crude fat starch, sugar and energy of supplements consumed daily in ScSM were 56.7, 21.2, 0.91, 0.34, 0.57, 2.91, 2.71, 35.78, 1.73% and 196.4 Kcal respectively and for all nutrients were significantly higher compared to corresponding maize meal alone and soyabean meal alone treatments. The proportion of soyabean meal intake to that of maize meal intake from ScSM was 1.33:1. It is concluded that supplementing scavenging chickens with protein (soyabean meal) and energy (maize meal) in a cafeteria had the highest level of intake, egg production, body weight, rather than offering these supplements separately despite the two supplements offered separately increasing productivity compared to the corresponding scavenging only groups of birds. Scavenging indigenous chickens need to be supplied with 64.6 grams of scavenging balancer with nutrient specification of 21.2% CP, 0.91% Try, 0.34% M+C, and 3044 Kcal/kg or maize meal and soyabean meal to reach a level of 21.2 % protein in the overall diet.