Effect of feed presentation options on the productivity and economic efficiency of broiler meat production
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This research assessed the effect of different feed presentation options on the productivity and economic efficiency of broiler meat production. Feed supplement was produced by fermenting broken maize grains until 2% lactic acid could be detected in the substrate and the duration for achieving the desired lactic acid concentration was determined. The fermented grain supplement was used to substitute 10% of the energy needs of growers’ mash once in a week (MF1) and another twice a week (MF2). Other feeds used included growers’ mass only (M) and pellet feed only (P). Eighty day old chicks were brooded together for 2 weeks, divided into sixteen experimental units of 5 birds each. The experimental units were randomly subjected to one of the four feed treatments, thus each treatment was replicated 4 times. Data was collected on the daily feed intake, daily body weight gain and feed conversion ratio for 6 weeks. This by determination of carcass weight, breast and drumstick weight) for each of the birds after slaughter. Cost benefit analysis was also conducted for each feed presentation option. The results showed that the live weight gain of broilers was significantly different (p<0.05) in week 3 and week 5-6 (p<0.001) among the different feed presentation options. A significant effect of feed on the FCR of the birds in week 5 (P < 0.001) and 6 (P = 0.031) was observed and the carcass weight of broiler birds fed on pelleted feed was the heaviest followed by mash supplemented with fermented feed once a week, mash alone and lastly mash + fermented feed twice a week. A net profit of 4000Uganda shillings was realized from feeding broilers on mash + fermented feed once a week but all broiler birds fed on other feed presentation options resulted into negative profits (losses). The broiler birds that were fed on pelleted feed had the highest productivity than the ones on mash and mash plus the supplementary feeding options. However, cost-benefit analysis showed that mash + fermented feed supplemented once a week is the most profitable feed presentation option for the farmers. Therefore, pelleted feed is the best option for improved broiler productivity but the targeted market should be high-end where premium prices are paid for quality broiler meat.