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Journal of Tropical Agriculture, Food, Environment and Extension

ISSN 1119-7455
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Article No 10 of Volume 7.2 (2008)

Ani, A.O.

Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria. Nsukka, Nigeria.




A 28-day feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary inclusion of processed velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) on performance and haematological parameters of pullet chicks. Mucuna bean seeds were soaked in an aqueous solution of potassium bicarbonate (K2Co3) at room temperature (22-24oC) for 24 hrs. After discarding the soaking solution, the seeds were cooked with water for 80 minutes, sun-dried for 48 hrs, milled in a hammer mill and used to formulate the experimental diets. Five pullet chicks’ starter diets were formulated to contain 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20% levels of processed Mucuna seed meal (MSM), respectively. Ninety 4-week old black Harco breed of pullet chicks were randomly divided into 5 groups of 18 chicks each. Each group was randomly assigned to one of the five treatment diets in a completely randomized design (CRD). Results of the feeding trial showed that there were significant (P<0.05) differences among treatments in final body weight (FBW), average daily weight gain (ADWG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and FCR. There were also significant (P<0.05) differences among treatments in PCV, Hb, relative liver and small intestine weights and cost of feed per kg weight gain. Chicks fed 15 and 20% processed MSM diets had significantly (P<0.05) higher FBW, ADWG, ADFI, and PCV than chicks fed control diet (0% MSM). Chicks fed 20% processed MSM diet had significantly (P<0.05) higher Hb and lower cost of feed per kg weight gain than chicks fed control diet. The relative organ weights of chicks fed control diets were similar to chicks fed other diets. There was no chick mortality throughout the experimental period. The results revealed that up to 20% processed MSM could be included in pullet chicks’ diets without any deleterious effects on chicks.


Key words: effects, growth performance, pullet chicks, feeding, velvet bean.

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