1.1 Background to the Study
Maize or Indian Corn (Zea mays) is an important cereal food for people (Dutta, 2007). However, it has become the prime source of grain for feeding livestock since the 19th century, as the major energy source (Rouanet, 1995; Dutta, 2007). The poultry industry plays an important role in meeting the ever – increasing needs for animal protein in human nutrition (Olomu, 2005). But the inflationary trends on livestock feeds and high cost of livestock production has adversely affected poultry production (Babatunde et al, 1998).
Maize is one of the most abundant food crops in Nigeria; about 80% is consumed by man and animals while 20% is utilized in variety of industrial processes for production of starch, oil, high fructose, corn sweetener, ethanol, cereal and alkaline, consisting of 71% starch, 9% protein and 4% oil on a dry weight basis. Dutta (2007) also noted that maize has immense potential to meet food requirement of human population because it has a great significance as human food, animal feed and diversified uses in a large number of industrial products, also that the adoption of improved and sustainable maize technologies holds the key to ensure both sustainability and increased maize production.
One of the factors that limit animal production efforts is the problem of finding suitable, cheap and locally available raw materials to replace expensive feed ingredients in livestock rations (Udedible et al, 1995). Maize is a commonly used ingredient in livestock feeds. It is expensive and there has been acute competition between humans and livestock for its use (Babatunde et al, 1975). The agro – industrial by-products have been identified as alternative feed stuffs which will form a major source of energy and protein in animal feeds (Babatunde, et al, 1998).
The maize wet – milling by- product is an agro – industrial waste product that is cheap and locally available in Nigeria. It has a great potentials as grain substitute in poultry feed (Oluyemi and Roberts, 2007). The Agricultural by – products is a fibrous feed with an average metabolizable energy of 1,340kcal/kg, crude protein on dry matter basis, of about 12.87kg/100 dry matter (Longe and Olonilua, 1997). It is high in cell wall carbohydrate and the available carbohydrate and metabolizable energy contents are low, compared to the whole cereal (Longe and Olonilus; 1997; MC Donad et al, 1996).
Maize wet – milling by-product is a fibrous feed with an average metabolizable energy of 1,340 kal/kg, Fibrous feeds are best suited for the feeding of ruminants. But their use in mono – gastric feeding is not new. There are several reports from the temperate countries that have demonstrated the value of fibrous feeds (Babatunde et al, 1998). Fiber is known to be important in nutrition depending on the source and level in the diet (Ei-Abbady et al, 1999). Babatunde et al, (1998) observed that optimal level of inclusion of the by–products might not only serve as a source of the B-vitamins, but might also contribute some energy and hence reduce the level of maize that is presently being included in livestock rations. The objective of this study therefore is to verify the nutrient composition of maize wet-milling by-product, and also to determine the effect on performance of broilers on diet based on this by-product.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Maize has been playing a major role as a major source of energy in poultry diet in Nigeria and because it is one of the major staple food as well as its use for various industrial raw materials, its demand is more than its supply, leading to increase in its price, high cost of poultry feed production and animal product.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The objective of this study is replace maize at different level of inclusion of maize wet milling by-product which is high in crude protein, crude fiber and less expensive to determine what level that can compare favourably with reference maize-based diet in performance of broiler, such as average daily wet gain, feed intake, feed conversion ratio and economic effectiveness.
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