Comparative Feeding Value of Feterita, Millet and Maize in Laying Hens Diets

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Adil Hassan Mohamed Sir, El Khatim
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The utilization of grain Feterita, millet or maize as the sole cereal grain in layer diets was studied. Two feeding trials were conducted, each of 12-weeks duration, utilizing light hybrid layer strains (White Hisex), 29 weeks of age, accommodated in battery cages in an open house. A control adequate diet based on grain Feterita as the sole cereal grain was fed in each trial. The grain Feterita in the control diet was substituted by millet or maize on weight basis in the first experiment; and on the basis of metabolizable energy and protein content to produce iso-caloric and iso- nitrogenous experimental diets in the second experiment. The feeding trials of both experiments were arranged in a completely randomized design. Each trial consisted of 12 cages with three birds per cage, and each dietary treatment was replicated four times. Records were kept for weekly feed consumption, egg production and egg weight, as well as for egg quality characteristics, live weight gain and mortality. The collected data was subjected to analyses of variance to find out any statistical differences among the dietary treatments in each trial. The results indicated that the substitution of grain Feterita by millet on weight basis in the first trial, or on iso-caloric and iso- nitrogenous basis in the second trial, resulted in significant increases in feed consumption (P<0.05). This effect was accompanied by similar increased intake of metabolizable energy, crude protein and the critical amino acids. These increases in nutrients intake resulted in a relative improvement in the performance of the experimental birds on the millet- based diets in both trials. Egg production was, however, not significantly affected by the experimental diets, but it was higher on the millet-based diets in both trials. Egg weight and egg shell thickness were also significantly increased on the millet-based diet among the iso-caloric and iso-nitrogenous diets in the second trial, while yolk index was significantly reduced. It can generally be implied that, under the conditions of the present experiments, the three tested cereal grains can be utilized efficiently in layer's diets to support satisfactory egg production. Millet-based diets proved to have a slight superiority in performance over that of grain Feterita or maize by inducing higher levels of feed and nutrient intake. Accordingly, commercial poultry diets can be based on any of the three cereal grains depending on availability and relative prices.
Comparative Feeding ,Feterita, Millet,Maize, Laying Hens