Nutritive value and feasibility studies of Stylosanthes leaf meals in broiler diets
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The Stylosanthes scabra, Strylosanthes guianensis and Stylosanthes seabrana leaf meals (SLM) contained 894, 894 and 888 g/kg dry matter, 24, 19 and 18 g/kg ether extract 351, 263 and 310 g/kg crude fibre and 7.51, 7.23 and 7.59 MJ/kg metabolizable energy (ME). The tannin and tannic acid contents were 47.5, 7.6, 23.5 g/kg and 80.7, 57.7 and 66.3 g/kg respectively. The SLM was a good source of protein (142, 164 and 137 g/kg) and well balanced in amino acids lysine (46.7, 43.7 and 47.0 g/kg of protein) and methionine (13.0, 12.0 and 13.4 g/kg of protein) respectively.
The graded (30, 60 and 90 g/kg) replacement of SLM in corn Soya diets in isocaloric and isonitrogenous rations to reference diet resulted in non-significant (P>0.05) differences in weight gain and feed conversion ratio. However, the feed consumption was either comparable or significantly (P<0.05) higher than control. The carcass yield was not influenced significantly by dietary treatment. The intestinal and caecal length and skin and shank pigmentations were significantly higher at higher levels of SLM than control. Out of 9 SLM diets fed, 6 of them recorded more returns over feed cost than control.
Stylosanthes leaf meals, nutrient composition, apparent metabolizable energy, growth performance, carcass parameters, economics.