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GROWTH RATE OF BALAMI RAMS FATTENED ON DIETS CONTAINING GRADED LEVELS OF POULTRY LITTER AS REPALCEMENT FOR COTTON SEDD CAKE

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GROWTH RATE OF BALAMI RAMS FATTENED ON DIETS CONTAINING GRADED LEVELS OF POULTRY LITTER AS REPALCEMENT FOR COTTON SEDD CAKE

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

 

1.1    Introduction

The high costs and to some extent unavailability of plant protein sources especially cotton seed cake in stock feed manufacturing and ration formulation on the farms has made research interest to be focused on coming up with alternatively cheaper protein sources (Chisoko, 2004; Ngongoni, Mapiye, Mwale, Mupeta and Chimonyo, 2007). The least cost ration can be formulated by reducing the level of inclusion of cotton seed cake (CSC) and alternatively substituting with dried poultry litter (DPL).

Adams, Baily, Hoskins and Oliver (2005) reported that cotton has become the symbol of injustice in international trade relations due to low prices on the world market. Consequently, beef producers have been greatly affected because the costs of pen fattening have gone up. The main goal of a beef enterprise just like any other business is to maximise profit which is not a true reflection under the prevailing circumstances. In agriculture the cash invested is termed ‘the fuel’ which is injected into operations and utilised to generate more cash hence the need to investigate the effects of cheaper alternative protein source ingredients in ration formulation so that the beef enterprise remains viable and feasible.

 

1.2    Background information

 

Animal feeds are classified into six groups of which DPL belongs to the group of animal by- products whilst CSC is a member of oil-seeds and grain legumes (Topps and Oliver, 1993). DPL is mainly used as a soil conditioner which is applied on farm land to improve crop and vegetable production. During the dry season DPL is used as a winter supplement for cows and weaned calves on the farms. The use of DPL clearly indicates that there are some nutrients available hence the need to use it more valuably by incorporating it in fattening rations. The use of DPL as an animal feed is also supported by Hadjipanayiotou, Labban, Kronfoleh, Verhaeghe, Naigm, AI-Wadi and Amin (1993) who reported that the inclusion of DPL in ruminant diets has a value which is 3-10 times greater than its value as a plant fertiliser.

 

There are wide variations in the nutritional composition of DPL hence the need to come up with specific levels of inclusion in ration formulation for specific areas (Mavimbela, 2000). The inclusion levels ascertained in other countries may be used here in Zimbabwe but composition of any plant species, and so its nutritional value, may vary considerably with the country of production (Topps and Oliver, 1993). The differences are due to climate, soil types, agronomic practices, plant varieties grown and the methods of conservation implemented in different countries. It is against this background that the researcher found it valuable to share with beef rams producers the benefits derived from substituting cotton seed cake with dried poultry litter in the pen fattening of beef rams.

 

1.3    Problem statement

 

 

High prices and sometimes the unavailability of plant protein rich concentrates have made research interests to investigate the effects of alternative cheaper protein sources like DPL without compromising animal performance.

 

1.4    Justification

 

 

Currently on the Zimbabwean market a tonne of CSC costs US $350 whilst a tonne of DPL costs US $60 (Chabikwa 2013). Research by other animal nutritionists revealed that DPL contains large amounts of protein and fibre. Apart from supplying protein and fibre, DPL also supplies energy, fat, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, sulphur and zinc all of which are required by animals in different proportions. From the Crude Protein (CP) available in DPL one third is present as true protein whilst the other two thirds are available as Non Protein Nitrogen (NPN) in the form of uric acid which can be utilised by ruminants like rams (Ghaly and McDonald, 2012). Snow and Ghaly (2007) found that from the protein available in DPL, 55-60% is digestible by ruminants.

Poultry production is one of the fastest growing sectors of livestock production in the world with an average annual growth rate of 35% (Ghaly and McDonald, 2012). Zimbabwean poultry industry also has experienced a significant growth during the period 2009-2012 as a result of increased production by commercial producers and small to medium producers. Broiler production has grown by more than 500% whilst egg production rose by 300% annually (Chihora, 2013). With such a growth rate from the poultry industry it clearly indicates that DPL supply will be consistent. Each broiler on average produces 1.5 kg poultry excreta over a period of 6 weeks whilst a layer type bird produces on average 16.7 kg poultry excreta  annually  (Gova,  Chimowa  and  Zawe,  2011).  Considering  the  low  prices,  the

 

availability in large quantities and the nutritional value, DPL can be a good substitute for CSC.

 

1.5    Broad objectives

 

 

The broad objectives of the research are:

 

  • To determine the response of fattening beef steers fed rations containing DPL as a substitute of CSC at varying levels.

 

1.6    Specific objectives

 

 

The specific objectives of the research are:

 

  • To determine whether substitution of CSC with DPL results in weight gains similar to those obtained with CSC as the main protein source.
  • To determine the optimal inclusion rate of DPL in fattening beef rams diets.

 

  • To determine the economic benefits derived from the substitution of CSC with DPL in fattening beef rams rations

 

1.7    Hypotheses

 

H0:    DPL does not result in total weight gains similar to CSC.

 

 

H0:    DPL does not result in average daily weight gains similar to CSC. H0:        DPL does not result in feed conversion ratio similar to CSC.

H0:    DPL inclusion in the diets does not reduce the costs of feeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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