This study was undertaken to determine the growth performance of broiler fed with millet and cassava peelingas a replacement for maize, as well as it potential as an additive on broiler leanness. The optimum level at which maize can be replaced by millet and cassava peeling was also determined. Nutritional compositions of millet and cassava peelingmeal were determined using the standard Association of Official Analytical Chemists protocols. One hundred and one day old chicks of the breed Cobb 500 were obtained and raised on a two phase feeding regime (i.e. starter for 3 weeks and finisher for 4 weeks). During the finisher phase they were fed different treatment diets. In the first trial the treatment diets were formulated such that maize was replaced with millet and cassava peeling at levels of 25% (T2), 50% (T3), 75% (T4) and 100% (T5). A standard commercial finisher diet was used as the control (T1). Parameters studied were; voluntary feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio (FCR), fat pad, breast weight, thigh weight, gizzard weight, meat sensory attributes and preference. In the second trial the standard commercial finisher diet was seeded with cassava peeling meal as an additive at levels of 0 g/kg (T1), 5 g/kg (T2), and 20 g/kg (T3), to study the effects on the feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio (FCR), fat pad, breast weight, thigh weight, gizzard weight, meat sensory attributes. Feed intake was recorded daily while weight gain was recorded weekly. At the end of the feeding trials, 28 broilers were slaughtered at 42 and 49 days old and evaluated for organs weight (thigh, breast, fat pad and gizzard) and average consumer acceptance. The results of this study have shown that the best replacement level of maize with millet and cassava peeling was at 50 %. It was however found that the replacement of maize by millet and cassava peeling can be done up to 100% without producing significantly lower performance (P>0.05) compared to the optimum replacement i.e. at 50%. The study showed that feed manufacturers can use millet and cassava peeling as an energy source in place of the imported maize. From the sensory evaluation trial, all the treatments did not affect the preferences significantly meaning the optimum levels of using millet and cassava peeling pearl(as a substitute for maize) and (as an additive) can safely be recommended without affecting the acceptability and preference of the broiler meat produced.
The broiler chicken industry is an important source of animal protein in Nigeria, as evidenced by the increased demand. The major advantage of broiler chicken meat is its lower iron contents (Farrell, 2010), lean meat, as well as more desirable unsaturated fatty acids (Appleby, 2010), therefore, it is perceived as healthy and nutritious as compared to beef and lamb. There are no universally accepted criteria for defining meat quality throughout the world (Monin, 2004). According to Borggaard and Andersen (2004), consumers decide on the quality of the meat which may differ according to culture.
The quality of the broiler chicken meat mainly depends on the quality of the diets fed to live birds. Nutritive value of a specific feed or diet is the function of feed intake and the efficiency of extraction of nutrients from the feed during digestion (Mandal, 1997). Feed intake of nutrients by broiler chickens is a function of the amount of feed eaten and the nutrient levels in the diet (Choct, 2012). Therefore, successful broiler production is dependent upon supplying the birds with feed of the highest achievable quality, in terms of ingredients used, processing procedures applied as well as the form in which the diet is presented to broilers (Arbor Acres, 2009).
The Nigerian poultry industry consists of two main sectors namely egg and meat production. Eggs are produced on commercial scale and broiler meat production was mainly based on subsistence farming. Neither the egg nor the meat production levels realized can satisfy local demand. As a result, Nigeria is a net importer of eggs and chicken meat mainly from South Africa and Brazil. Chicken production in Nigeria is limited by the scarcity and high cost of components used in manufacturing feeds as well as lack of chicken breeding skills among others. Feeds form a greater part of the variable costs of a chicken production operation amounting up to 70-80 % (Louw et al., 2011). Producers with access to alternative feeds which are cheaper and locally available often tend to have economic advantage due to lower costs of production (Nader, 2006). It is therefore, advisable to identify possible ways to reduce the high costs of chicken feeds and one of them could be to replace conventional feed ingredients with cheaper, yet equally efficient, alternatives. This may be achieved by using locally available nonconventional feed stuffs as major components of chicken diets.
In broiler chicken production industry, cereal grains such as maize, sorghum, etc.