Effect of replacing maize with pearl millet (Dora) on the performance of broilers

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Njolomba, Joshua
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University of Zambia
The effects of replacing Maize with Pearl Millet (Dora) on the performance and production of broiler chickens were investigated in a 42 - day feeding trial, at the University of Zambia Agricultural Field Station. One hundred and twenty (120) (Ross) unsexed broiler chicks weighing averagely 0.042kg per bird were randomly allotted to four experimental diets in which (TO) control, 20 percent pearl millet (T20), 40 percent pearl millet (T40) and 60 percent pearl millet (T60) served as the energy sources in a randomized complete block design (RCBD). Each treatment consisted of 30 birds and two replicates of fifteen (15) chickens each. The chicks were given constant illumination and had free access to fresh water and fed ad libitum. The standard managemental practices were performed for all groups, such as regular cleaning of drinkers/ chick fonts, turning and replacement of clean dry litter, and vaccination against Newcastle Disease and Infectious Bursal Disease. However the three (3) test materials (Pearl millet, maize meal and soyabean meal) were subjected to proximate analysis to determine their nutrient composition. At the end of the feeding trial the data obtained was subjected to analysis of variance in a randomized complete block design and analyzed using Genstat 14* edition statistical package. The results obtained had shown that tliey were no significant (P>'0.05) differences in live weight gains and feed efficiency among all the treatment groups. The overall weight gains were 2.59kg, 2.71kg, 2.82kg and 2.93 kg and feed conversion ratio was 1.74, 1.61, 1.55 and 1.50 for TO, T20, T40 and T60 respectively. Moreover, (day 1 to 42), birds fed the pearl millet diets (40 and 60 percent) had greater body weight, and feed conversion compared to birds fed the maize and pearl millet 20 percent diets at (P<0.05). The results, however, suggests that the replacement of maize by pearl millet at between 40 and 60 percent is possible and results in a higher body weight gain as compared to those fed entirely on maize based diet.
Student Project Report
Chickens , Broilers (poultry)