Livestock Research for Rural Development 20 (3) 2008 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD News

Citation of this paper

Inclusion of different proportions of poultry litter in the rations of yearling Hararghe Highland goats

Asrat Gebre Tsadik, Berhan Tamir* and Solomon Melaku*

South Wollo Department of Agriculture, P. O. Box 80, Dessie, Ethiopia
*Departement of Animal Science, Haramaya University, P.O.Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
solmelay@yahoo.com

Abstract

The experiment was conducted to determine different levels of poultry litter inclusion in supplement diets of Hararghe Highland goats on feed intake, digestibility, N retention and body weight (BW) gain at Haramaya University, Ethiopia. Twenty-four yearling male Hararghe Highland goats with a BW of 20.3 1.98 (mean SD) were used in the study. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design. Six goats were randomly assigned to each of the four dietary treatments that consisted of ad libitum grass hay + noug seed (Guizotia abyssinica) cake supplementation (T1), and replacement of noug seed cake with  14 (T2), 28 (T3) and 45% (T4) poultry litter on dry matter (DM) basis.

 

Daily DM intake increased (P < 0.05) with inclusion of poultry litter up to 28% in the supplement diets, but it declined (P < 0.05) at 45% of poultry litter inclusion. Crude protein (CP) intake decreased (P < 0.05) at 45% of poultry litter inclusion, and daily LW gain was lower (P < 0.05) in animals supplemented with the same diet compared to the other levels of poultry litter inclusion. Apparent digestibility coefficient of DM and CP at 45% poultry litter inclusion were lower (P < 0.05) than the other diets. From the results of this study, it is concluded that poultry litter could replace favorably conventional CP sources such as noug seed cake by up to 28% in the ration of goats.

Key words: body weight gain, digestibility, feed intake, N retention, noug seed cake


Introduction

Livestock provide meat, milk, cash income, traction power and serve as a hedge against risk in many tropical countries like Ethiopia. However, supplies of livestock products are scarce due to population pressure and poor productivity of animals, which is partially limited by inadequate availability of animal feeds. Current global research in animal nutrition focuses on overcoming the continuously rising shortage of conventional livestock feed resources. In this regard, poultry litter has been identified as one of the non-conventional feeds for ruminant production. Although the inclusion of poultry litter in the diets of animals may be aesthetically difficult to accept, coprophagia is a common behavior among animals. Generally, the disposal of poultry litter from intensive poultry production plants may require extra expenses in addition to its impact on environmental pollution. Moreover, feedstuffs for animals are getting progressively expensive, thus necessitating minimization of feed cost, which could be achieved through the incorporation of relatively cheap and non-conventional feed ingredients. Although, the chemical composition of poultry litter is variable, it is rich in crude protein (CP), which could be as high as 31% (Banerjee 1996). Thus, utilization of poultry litter as animal feed ingredient, apart from reducing environmental pollution is assumed to have the advantages of providing a low cost feed ingredient. Therefore, this study was designed with the objectives to investigate the effect of different levels of poultry litter inclusion in the supplement diets of Hararghe Highland goats on feed intake, digestibility, N retention and daily body weight (BW) gain.

 

Materials and methods 

Location and climatic condition

 

The experiment was carried out at Haramaya University, Ethiopia, which is located at an altitude of 1980 meters above sea level between latitude 9o 26" N and longitude 42o 3" E. The mean annual rainfall is 870 mm with a range of 560-1260 mm, and the mean maximum and minimum temperatures are 23.4 oC and 8.25 oC, respectively.

 

Animals, experimental design and treatments

 

The feeding and digestibility trials were conducted for 90 and 12 days, respectively using twenty-four yearling male Hararghe Highland goats with  an initial BW of 20.3 1.98 (mean SD) in a randomized complete block design. The animals were blocked by initial BW and randomly assigned to one of the four treatments. The four dietary treatment supplements were designated as diet 1 (control), diet 2, diet 3 and diet 4 with 0, 14, 28 and 45% poultry litter inclusion on dry matter (DM) basis, respectively. The other constituents of the dietary treatment supplements included noug (Guizotia abyssinica) cake, wheat bran, wheat middlings and salt (Table 1). The poultry litter was sun-dried by spreading out on polyethylene sheets to a thickness of 1-2 cm and racking twice a day. Irregular lumps were sieved out and crushed to a smaller size. Natural grass hay mainly consisting of Hyperrhenia rufa was used as a basal feed. The supplement feeds were offered in a bucket at the level of 300 g/head on DM basis at 08:00 am daily. The basal feed was offered at 20% refusal each day at 9:00 am. Water was offered ad libitum. Daily feed intake was recorded per animal. Samples of feeds offered and refused were collected and pooled over the experimental period for each animal.


Table 1.  Feed ingredients in the treatment supplement diets

Ingredient, %

Diet 1

Diet 2

Diet 3

Diet 4

Noug seed cake

33

22

11

0

Poultry litter

0

14

28

45

Wheat bran

36

33

30

24

Wheat middlings

30

30

30

30

Salt

1

1

1

1

Total

100

100

100

100


 

Digestibility and nitrogen balance

 

The experimental goats were adapted to the metabolic cages and carrying of fecal bags for 5 days, which was followed by total collection of feces and urine for 7 days. Urine was collected in a bucket containing 100 ml of 0.1N H2SO4 to trap N that may escape as ammonia. Daily fecal and urine output by each animal was weighed, recorded, and 10% was sampled and stored at - 20 C, pending chemical analysis. The quantity of urine and feces sampled daily was pooled over the experimental period for each animal.

 

Laboratory analysis

 

All samples of feed offered, feed refusal and feces were analyzed for DM, CP, crude fiber (CF), ash and ether extract (EE) as per the methods described by AOAC (1990).

 

Statistical analysis

 

Data were subjected to the analysis of variance to assess treatment effects, and when treatment effects were found to be significant, treatment mean separation was made by least significance difference. The following model was used for the analysis of data.

Yij   =  m + Ti + Bj + eij, where

            Yij = the response variable      

             m    = overall mean

            Ti    = diet effects

            Bj    = block effects

            eij    = random error

 

Results and discussion 

Chemical composition

 

The chemical composition of the individual feed ingredients used in the formulation of the treatment diets is presented in Table 2. The CP content of noug seed cake used in this experiment was lower than 35.3% and its ash content was higher than 7.4% reported by Beyene (1976). These differences may be due to the method of extraction employed, which creates differences in chemical composition of oil seed cakes (McDonald et al 2002). The CP content of the poultry litter used in this study was similar to that reported for layers litter (Hadjipanayiotou 1984), however, it was lower than the CP content of 30.3% (Yoseph et al 2002), and 27.8% (Deshck et al 1998), and higher than 24.5% reported by Bakshi and Fontenot (1998). Many factors could contribute to the observed differences in CP content of poultry litter which include methods of processing (Bakshi and Fontenot 1998), types of bedding material (Bhattacharya and Taylor 1975), the proportion of excreta in the litter and the environmental conditions under which the manure was conserved (Cullison et al 1976). Generally, the observed CP content of poultry litter used in this study was more than adequate for supplementing animals fed low CP containing feeds.


Table 2.  Chemical composition treatment feeds

Ingredients and diets

DM

OM

CP

EE

CF

Ash

g / kg

g / kg DM

Noug seed cake

932.3

894.5

338.2

46.6

178.0

105.5

Poultry litter

905.3

823.4

265.1

35.0

108.3

176.6

Wheat bran

886.1

948.2

136.4

29.7

116.4

51.8

Wheat middlings

893.1

955.3

143.2

47.4

51.8

44.7

Hay

925.8

935.2

51.4

21.4

282.2

64.7

Diet 1

901.3

877.0

203.6

40.3

164.7

123.0

Diet 2

917.4

872.5

199.5

39.1

158.2

127.5

Diet 3

914.6

860.8

195.4

30.2

142.0

134.3

Diet 4

906.8

865.7

194.3

29.2

150.9

139.2

DM = dry matter; OM = organic matter; CP = crude protein; EE = ether extract; CF = crude fiber


Poultry litter contained higher ash than noug seed cake, wheat bran and wheat middlings. This could be attributed to higher digestibility of organic matter (OM) in poultry diets, thus raising the proportion of inorganic matter in poultry litter.  The ash content of poultry litter in this experiment was low as compared to 21.5% reported by Hadjipanayiotou (1984), but was comparable to 18% reported by Tegene (1984). McDonald et al (2002) indicated that other things being equal, the higher the level of ash in feed samples, the lower will be its energy value. Therefore, the results suggested the energy value of poultry litter to be lower than that of noug seed cake as well as wheat bran and wheat middlings.

 

The hay used in this study was characterized by low CP and high CF content. When compared to the chemical composition of hay produced previously at the same site, the CP content of the hay used in this study was lower than 7.7% reported by Getnet (1997) and 6.7% reported by Tegene (1984), but higher than 4% reported by Tesfaye (1983). Moreover, the CF content of the hay was higher than 25.5% reported by Getnet (1997). This was expected, since the hay used in the current study consisted of predominantly mature grass with low proportion of leaves, and according to Whiteman (1980), the content of cell wall constituents is positively correlated with plant maturity. Numerous evidences (Whiteman 1980; McDonald et al 2002) showed that high cell wall constituents set a limit to feed intake by physical fill effect and by reducing the digestibility of feeds. As plants mature, the proportion of cell wall constituents such as cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin increase and the percentage of CP decreases (McDonald et al 2002). Higher fiber content results in lower DM digestibility (McDonald et al 2002) and therefore, it is important to supplement the basal feed with better CP containing feeds in order to balance its deficiency of CP, and thereby support reasonable animal production. Indeed, Whiteman (1980) suggested that basal forages with less than 7% CP require protein supplementation to offset limitations on voluntary feed intake.

 

Daily feed and nutrient intake

 

Goats supplemented with 28% poultry litter inclusion (diet 3) had higher (P < 0.05) basal feed DM intake than those supplemented with either the control diet or the other levels of poultry litter inclusion (Table 3).


Table 3.  Feed intake of Hararghe Highland goats supplemented with different levels of poultry litter inclusion

Variables

Diet 1

Diet 2

Diet 3

Diet 4

SE

SL

DMI, g/day

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Hay

440.0b

446.2b

481.2a

452.4b

11.80

*

    Supplement

245.5b

284.9a

257.1ab

148.6c

12.24

*

    Total

685.5b

731.1a

738.3a

601.0c

17.40

*

OMI, g/day

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Hay

411.5b

417.3b

450.0a

423.1ab

12.53

ns

    Supplement

215.3a

248.6a

221.3a

128.6b

12.24

*

    Total

626.8b

665.9ab

671.3a

551.7c

17.73

*

CPI, g/day

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Hay

22.6a

22.9a

24.5a

23.2a

2.09

ns

    Supplement

50.0b

56.8a

50.2b

28.9c

2.62

*

    Total

72.6b

79.7a

74.7ab

52.1c

3.26

*

EEI, g/day

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Hay

9.4a

9.5a

10.3a

9.7a

1.35

ns

    Supplement

9.9b

11.1a

7.7c

4.3d

0.53

*

    Total

19.3a

20.6a

18.0a

14.0b

1.49

*

CFI, g/day

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Hay

124.1a

125.9a

135.8a

127.7a

11.75

ns

    Supplement

40.4a

45.1a

36.5ab

22.4b

2.14

*

    Total

164.5a

171.0a

172.3a

150.1b

11.39

ns

abc means in the same row with different superscript differ at P < 0.05; SE = standard error; NS = not significant; DMI = dry matter intake; CPI = crude protein intake; EEI = ether extract intake; CFI = crude fiber intake; OMI = organic matter intake; SE = standard error; SL = significance level; Diet 1 = hay + concentrate mix; Diet 2 = hay + concentrate mix with 14% poultry litter; Diet 3 = hay + concentrate mix with 28% poultry litter; Diet 4 = hay + concentrate mix with 45% poultry litter


Inclusion of poultry litter at 14% in the supplement feed promoted higher (P< 0.05) supplement DM intake compared to the control diet and diet 4 with 45% poultry litter inclusion. Moreover, the control diet and diet 3 with 28 % poultry litter inclusion promoted higher (P< 0.05) supplement DM intake than diet 4 with 45% poultry litter inclusion. However, no difference (P> 0.05) was observed in supplement DM intake between diet 2 and diet 3 that had 14 and 28% poultry litter inclusion, respectively, which suggested both levels of poultry litter inclusion to be equally useful in promoting higher supplement DM intake.

 

Total DM intake of goats fed diets with different levels of poultry litter inclusion ranged between 601-738.4 g/day. There was a rise in total feed DM intake as poultry litter inclusion in the diets increased up to the level of 28%, however, it reduced at 45% of poultry litter inclusion. Diets 2 and 3 with 14 and 28% poultry litter inclusion showed higher (P< 0.05) daily total DM intake compared with diet 1 and diet 4 (Table 4).

This finding was contrary to that of Nadeem et al (1993), who reported the reduction in total DM consumption at 30% broiler litter inclusion in the diet of Barbari goats. When expressed on metabolic BW basis, total daily DM intake of goats in this study ranged between 61.1- 71.3 g/kgw0.75, which was similar to DM intake of 60-70 g/kgw0.75 reported by Getnet (1997) in Ogaden goats, and within the range of 41-131 g/kg/w0.75 reported for indigenous goats by Devendra and Burns (1983). Generally, lower daily intake of total DM as well as other dietary components in animals supplemented with 45% poultry litter inclusion may be attributed to lower palatability of poultry litter at this level of inclusion. Tinnimit et al (1972) reported that goats even refused to consume ration containing more than 30% poultry litter. Goats on diet 4 had lower (P< 0.05) supplement CP intake than those fed on the other diets. This may be due to lower supplement feed intake since high quantities of refusals were observed for animals supplemented with diet 4.

 

Feed digestibility and nitrogen balance

 

The apparent digestibility of feed is presented in Table 4. The DM digestibility observed in this study was in agreement with that of Lowman and Knight (1970), which showed digestibility of poultry litter to range between 55– 80%, when fed to animals with barley as a basal ration. Digestibility of DM was affected by the inclusion of poultry litter at 45%, which was lower (P< 0.05) than the results recorded for the other diets. This result was in agreement with that of Hadjipanayiotou (1984) that showed a trend towards lower digestion coefficient for DM when percent of poultry litter increased from 15- 30%. Tegene (1984) also observed lower digestibility (59.2%) when hay was supplemented only with poultry litter, and this increased to 63.6% when wheat bran was included in the supplement diet.

 


Table 4.  Apparent digestibility coefficient of feed nutrients in Hararghe Highland goats supplemented with diets containing different levels of poultry litter inclusion

Variables

Apparent digestibility coefficient

SE

SL

Diet 1

Diet 2

Diet 3

Diet 4

DM

0.70a

0.74a

0.74a

0.63b

0.01

*

CP

0.54a

0.65a

0.62a

0.26b

0.04

*

CF

0.31a

-0.17a

0.50a

0.17a

0.16

ns

NFE

0.34ab

0.47a

0.42ab

0.31b

0.03

ns

abc means in the same row without a common superscript differ at P < 0.05; SE = standard error; NS = not significant; DM = dry matter; CP = crude protein; NFE = nitrogen free extract; SL = significance level; Diet 1 = hay + concentrate mix; Diet 2 = hay + concentrate mix with 14% poultry litter; Diet 3 = hay + concentrate mix with 28% poultry litter; Diet 4 = hay + concentrate mix with 45% poultry litter


Apparent digestibility of CP also reduced (P< 0.05) at higher level of inclusion of poultry litter (45%) in the supplement diet compared to the other diets. However, the inclusion of poultry litter at 14 and 28% increased (P < 0.05) CP digestibility of the ration as compared to diet 4. The result of this study was contrary to that of Nadeem et al (1993) who found reduction in DM and CP digestibility due to raising inclusion of broiler litter from 20–30%.    


Table 5.  Effect of poultry litter inclusion at different levels on nitrogen balance of Hararghe Highland goats

 Variables

Diet 1

Diet 2

Diet 3

Diet 4

SE

SL

Nitrogen intake, g/d

10.9b

14.0a

13.7a

8.1c

0.57

*

Nitrogen excretion, g/d

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Fecal

2.4a

3.1a

2.9a

3.3a

0.26

ns

     % of N intake

28.4b

23.1b

19.5b

51.2a

2.90

*

  Urinary

3.1b

3.2b

2.7b

4.0a

0.16

*

     % of N intake

23.8ab

22.8b

21.7b

40.5a

3.20

ns

 Total N excretion

5.5b

6.4ab

5.6b

7.3a

0.26

*

    % of N intake

52.2b

46.0b

41.2b

91.8a

4.97

*

 N retention, g/d

5.4a

7.6a

8.1a

0.7b

0.73

*

   % of N intake

47.7a

54.0a

58.7a

8.2b

4.96

*

   % of N absorbed

59.8a

69.7a

75.3a

4.3b

7.24

*

abc means in the same row without a common superscript differ at P < 0.05; SE = standard error; NS = not significant; N = nitrogen; SL = significance level; Diet 1 = hay + concentrate mix; Diet 2 = hay + concentrate mix with 14% poultry litter; Diet 3 = hay + concentrate mix with 28% poultry litter; Diet 4 = hay + concentrate mix with 45% poultry litter


Nitrogen intake was higher (P< 0.05) in goats supplemented with diets 2 and 3 compared to those supplemented with diet 1 or diet 4. Moreover, goats supplemented with diet 1 also had higher N intake (P< 0.05) than those supplemented with diet 4 (Table 5). This was mainly due to differences in the intake of supplement diets. Urinary N loss was higher (P < 0.05) in goats supplemented with diet 4 compared to the other diets, which were similar (P > 0.05) to each other. Moreover, urinary N excretion as percent of N intake was higher (P< 0.05) in goats supplemented with diet 4 compared to those supplemented with diets 2 and 3. Consequently, goats supplemented with diet 4 had lower (P< 0.05) N retention than those supplemented with the other feeds. The high urinary excretion of N in the animals supplemented with diet 4 could be attributed to the expected high rumen degradability of N contained in poultry litter. High excretion of urinary N is associated with high rumen N degradability (McDonald et al 2002).

 

Body weight change

 

Goats supplemented with diet 4 had lower (P< 0.05) final BW, daily BW gain and higher feed conversion ratio (FCR) than those supplemented with the other treatment feeds (Table 6). Goats supplemented with 28% poultry litter inclusion gained better and had the heaviest final BW than those supplemented with the other diets. The increased daily BW gain and final BW by goats fed diets 2 and 3 than diet 4 may be related to the additive benefits of noug seed cake and poultry litter as ingredients in the diets. The poor performance of goats fed diet 4 could also be attributed to the low consumption of supplement feed. This study revealed that inclusion of poultry litter by up to 28% had no negative impact on daily BW gain, but, inclusion at 45% resulted in a reduced daily BW gain. Nadeem et al (1993) reported reduced BW gain in goat kids when the level of poultry litter was raised from 25– 30%. 


Table 6.  Effect of poultry litter inclusion at different levels on daily body weight gain and feed conversion ratio of Hararghe Highland goats

Treatments

Initial weight, kg

Final weight, kg

BWG, g/day

FCR, DMI/BWG

Diet 1 (0%)

20.5a

24.3a

41.7a

16. 8b

Diet 2 (14%)

20.3a

24.4a

45.9a

14.2b

Diet 3 (28%)

20.3a

24.7a

49.1a

15.0b

Diet 4 (45 %)

20.2a

22.3b

26.9b

22.4a

SE

0.41

0.38

3.01

1.35

Significance level

NS

*

*

*

ab means in the same column with different superscript differ at P < 0.05; NS = not significant; SE = standard error; BWG = body weight gain; FCE = feed conversion efficiency; DMI = dry matter intake; Diet 1 = hay + concentrate mix; Diet 2 = hay + concentrate mix with 14% poultry litter; Diet 3 = hay + concentrate mix with 28% poultry litter; Diet 4 = hay + concentrate mix with 45% poultry litter


Conclusion

 

References 

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Received 3 December 2007; Accepted 4 January 2008; Published 1 March 2008

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