There is a need to exploit cheaper energy sources, to replace expensive cereals for poultry production in order to relieve the food-feed competition.
The poultry industry is experiencing a number of difficulties due to high production costs brought about by the expense and scarcity of feed ingredients. The main ingredient in poultry feed is maize, which is also the major energy source in Nigeria. Therefore, there is a need to exploit cheaper energy sources, to replace expensive cereals for poultry production in order to relieve the food-feed competition.
The total or partial replacement of maize by high yielding locally-produced ingredients, could bring about a substantial reduction in the production costs of feed thereby making poultry farming economically viable and enable poultry farmers to produce part of the feed themselves. Cassava root products are rich in carbohydrates but low in protein, amino acids and all other nutrients and thus are used mainly as sources of energy. In using cassava root products as cereal substitutes, extra protein source is needed. Cassava leaf meal (CLM) contain moderate levels of crude protein and amino acids, mineral, vitamins and carotene. With this in mind, replacing maize in poultry feed with cassava roots and leaves can be of benefit to the farmers.
Cassava roots are washed, par-boiled or fermented for one day and spread to dry in the sun. Cassava leaves are stripped from the branches and sun dried to make cassava leaf meal (CLM). Cassava root meal (CRM) and CLM can be included at any stage of production in layer and broiler chickens’ diets at 45% CRM, 10% CLM and 30% CRM and 5 % CLM respectively.
Cassava root (fermented or pre-gelatinized) and leaf meals can successfully be used in poultry rations, provided that cassava-based rations are duly balanced for all nutrients and are fed in the appropriate forms to assure adequate feed intake.
Preparation of cassava root meal (CRM) and cassava leaf meal (CLM)
Cassava roots are washed and can be processed into two forms for effective detoxification and utilization without deleterious effects on birds.
1. Pre-gelatinized cassava root meal: the washed cassava roots are cut into pieces and boiled for about five minutes and spread in the sun to dry
2. Fermented cassava root meal: the washed cassava roots are cut into pieces, soaked for 24 hours and spread to dry in the sun. The two products does not require grinding, you can just use hand to separate the process roots into grits of different sizes, which is ready to be included into the diets.
Cassava leaf meal: Leaves can be harvested within 4 to 5 months of planting, without adversely affecting production. The leaves are stripped from the branches to reduce the fibre content in the diets, sun dried and ground into meal.
This article was compiled by Dr. Lala, A.O. (FUNAAB) and published on LIFA blog. For more information about this article, contact Livestock Industry Foundation for Africa. We are available for collaboration in areas that involve research, education, training and advocacy. We can work together to improve Africans Livestock Industry.