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Effects of replacing maize with different sorghum varieties on laying performance and egg quality of White Leghorn hens

Gemechu Abera, Mengistu Urge1 and Meseret Girma1

Department of Animal Sciences, Gambella University, P O Box 126, Gambella, Ethiopia
1 School of Animal and Range Sciences, Haramaya University, P O Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
meseretgirma4@gmail.com

Abstract

A study was conducted to evaluate recently introduced sorghum varieties as substitute to maize on egg production and egg quality in White Leghorn hens. One hundred fifty six hens with initial body weight of 989 6.8g were randomly allocated to treatments in which the sources of grain were: maize (control) or Lalo, Gemedi and Chemeda varieties of grain sorghum.

Dry matter intake was higher on sorghum diets than on maize with no differences among sorghum varieties. By contrast, body weight gain was much higher on sorghum than on maize with weight gains increased in order of Lalo, Gemedi and Chemeda varieties of sorghum. Egg production and feed efficiency showed similar trends in favor of sorghum compared with maize with no differences among sorghum varieties. Egg quality was not affected by the source of grain. The possible explanation why these specific sorghum varieties should be superior to maize in support of egg production is their superior nutrient profiles as evidenced by higher levels of crude protein and calcium and less crude fiber and according to other researchers, a better balance of essential amino-acids in the protein, especially lysine. The new varieties of grain sorghum recently released in Ethiopia can replace maize in diets of laying hens with increased egg production and better growth and feed conversion, and no change in egg quality, compared with maize.

Key words: albumen quality, egg mass, lysine, tannins, yolk quality


Introduction

Cereal grains constitute the major sources of energy in poultry diets (Oluyemi and Roberts 2000). Among the cereals grains, maize has remained to be the chief energy source in compounded diets and constitutes up to 50% of poultry ration (Ajaja et al 2002). According to Bamgbose et al (2004) maize accounts for about 45 to 55% of poultry feed. However, the major problem of incorporating maize in livestock diets is the competition that exists between livestock and humans in the consumption of the cereal. Because of drought the amount of maize allocated to the stock feed industry will continue to decline with increase in price

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Monch) is ranked next to maize in use as a source of energy and is a major traditional food crop of Ethiopia. The nutritive significance, cost and availability make sorghum the closest alternative to maize in poultry diets (Maunder 2002).

Some new sorghum varieties in Ethiopian include Lalo, Gemedi and Chemeda which were released by Bako Agricultural Research Center and are under wide cultivation (Shamme et al 2016). Thus, the present study was to evaluate substituting the aforementioned sorghum varieties for maize as the basal energy source in diets of laying hens.


Materials and methods

Ingredients and diets

The experiment was conducted at Haramaya University Poultry Farm. The treatments were maize and the three sorghum varieties (Lalo, Gemedi and Chemeda). (Table1).

Table 1. Proportion (%) of ingredients to be used in formulating the experimental rations

Maize

Lalo

Gemedi

Chemeda

Maize

48

0

0

0

Lalo

0

48

0

0

Gemedi

0

0

48

0

Chemeda

0

0

0

48

Noug seed cake

13.5

13.5

13.5

13.5

Soybean meal

9.5

9.5

9.5

9.5

Wheat short

22

22

22

22

Limestone

5.5

5.5

5.5

5.5

Vitamin premix

1

1

1

1

Salt

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

Vitamin premix:50kg contains, vitA=2000000iu. vitD=400000iu, vitE=10000mg, vitK=300mg, vitB1=150mg. vitB2=1000mg. vitB3=2000mg, vitB6=500mg, vitB12=4mg, vitPP=60000mg, Folic acid=160mg, cholineChloride=3000mg, Antioxidant=500mg, Manganese=10000mg, Znc=14000mg, Iron=9000mg, Copper=1000mg, Sodium=200mg, Selenium=80mg,Calcium=28.2%

Experimental procedure

One hundred fifty six White leghorn hens with initial body weight of 989 6.8g were allocated to deep litter pens with13 hens and 2 cocks per pen and 4 pens per treatment. .The hens were vaccinated against new castle, gumburo disease and fowl thypoid, and adapted to the experimental diets for 7 days before the commencement of data collection over 90 days. Feed and water were available at all times. The birds were weighed at the start and end of the experiment. Representative samples from feed ingredients were analyzed for proximate constituents (AOAC 1995).

Eggs were collected two times per day from each pen at 0800 and 1700 hours. The sum of the two collections along with the number of birds alive on each day in each pen were recorded.

Rate of lay was expressed as the average percentage hen-day and hen- housed egg production based on the average values from each replicate following the method of Hunton (1995) as follows;

The egg mass was computed by multiplying average egg weight with number of eggs for each replicate as described by North (1984).

Egg mass = Number of eggs/day*average egg weight

Feed conversion efficiency was determined by dividing the egg mass with the weight of feed consumed.

Egg quality was assessed in terms of egg weight, shell thickness, yolk color, albumen height, yolk index and Haugh Unit Score (HUS). Three eggs per replicate were taken randomly every two weeks for quality analysis. The sample eggs were weighed and broken on glass and the shell thickness, shell weight, yolk width, yolk index, yolk color, yolk weight, yolk height, albumen weight, and albumen height were measured. The Roche color fan was used as a reference to determine yolk color, with 1 rated as very pale yellow and 15 as deep intense reddish orange. The albumen of the broken eggs was carefully separated from the yolk. Tripod micrometer was used to measure the yolk and albumen height. Albumen weight was measured using a sensitive balance.

For egg shell quality, the weight of shell and its membrane were measured together by using sensitive balance. The shell membrane was removed from the egg shell and the shell thickness was measured. Egg shell thickness was measured at three sides of the egg; one at the large end (top or pointed part), second at the narrow end (bottom or round part) and third from the middle part of the egg by using micrometer gauge. The average of the three sites was taken as egg shell thickness (Ajuwon et al 2002).

Immediately after breaking the eggs, the height of albumen was measured by Tripod micrometer. The weight was taken by sensitive balance after being separated from the yolk. Haugh unit was calculated from egg weight and albumen height to relate the weight of eggs with the height of thick albumen. Haugh unit was computed using the following formula (Haugh 1937):

HU=100 log (H + 7.5-1.7W0.37).

Where HU = Haugh unit, H = height of albumen and W=egg weight (g).

After separation of the yolk from the albumen, yolk width and length was measured using a ruler and height was measured by tripod micrometer, respectively. The weight of the yolk was measured by sensitive balance. Yolk index was computed using the following formula:

During yolk color measurement, first the yolk membrane was removed, the whole yolk was thoroughly mixed and a yolk sample was taken on a piece of white paper and compared with Roche fan measurement (Vuilleumier 1969).

Statistical analysis

The data were subjected to statistical analysis using computer software (SAS 2009). following one way analysis of variance procedure. The model used was:

Yij = + Ti + eij

Where, Yij = represents jth observation (experimental unit) taken under treatment I; Ti = feed effect; = Over all means; eij = random error

General logistic regression analysis was employed for data recorded on yolk color (1/2/…/8). The general logistic regression used was;

 Where: H0: no treatment effects (i. e, β0 =0) vs. H 1: significant treatment effects (β1≠0)

π = probability; β = slope; x = treatment


Results and discussion

Chemical composition of feed ingredients and diets

The protein content of the sorghum grain varieties was higher than in maize with Chemeda being highest. This is in line with reports of Subramanian and Metta (2000), Abdo et al (2015) and Zebiba (2012) (Table 2). Crude fiber levels were lower for the sorghum varieties and calcium was higher. Considered together these comparisons indicate a superior nutritive value for the sorghum varieties compared with maize. A more detailed analysis of the sorghum varieties is merited especially the balance of essential amino acids.

Table 2. Chemical composition of feed ingredients (% in DM)

Lalo

Gemedi

Chemeda

Maize

SBM

WSH

NSC

CP

10.7

11.45

12.6

10.45

37.16

15.6

30.5

EE

3.9

3.3

3

4

2.4

4.2

3.8

Ash

6.9

6.75

7.3

6

19

17.34

20.8

CF

4.4

3.8

2.99

5.1

12

9.5

15

Ca

0.11

0.43

0.67

0.05

0.09

0.09

0.07

P

0.68

0.7

0.94

0.75

0.58

0.77

0.69

SBM= Soybean meal: WSH= Wheat Short; NSC = Noug seed Cake



Table 3. Chemical composition of treatment diets (% in DM)

Maize

Lalo

Gemedi

Chemeda

CP

16.1

16.2

16.6

17.1

EE

3.58

3.54

3.28

2.77

Ash

12.2

12.7

12.6

13

CF

9.5

9

8.6

7.49

Ca

2.61

2.7

2.81

2.93

P

0.68

0.64

0.65

0.77

Production performance

Dry matter intake was higher on sorghum diets with no differences among sorghum varieties (Table 4; Figure 1). By contrast, body weight gain was much higher on sorghum than on maize with weight gains increased in order of Lalo, Gemedi and Chemeda (Figure 2). Egg production and feed efficiency showed similar trends in favor of sorghum compared to maize with no differences among sorghum varieties. (Figures 3 and 4).

The color of the grain of the sorghum varieties was creamy white, light red and brownish red for Chemeda, Gemed and Lalo, respectively. Freitas (2014) noted that grain color was one of the features that differentiate sorghum varieties and was an indicator of tannin content. This is corroborated in our experiment with the Chemeda variety (creamy-white color) giving the best results, presumably because of lower tannin content. Other researcher (Cheng et al 2009) stated that white sorghum varieties have a lower percentage of tannins.

There is no obvious explanation why these specific sorghum varieties should be superior to maize in support of egg production. Feed intake was increased by 9, 11 and 16% for the respective varieties Lalo, Gemedi and Chemeda, as compared with maize. Comparative figures for weight gain were 58, 103 and 145% increases compared with maize while for egg mass the respective increases for the three sorghum varieties were: 32, 34 and 50% compared with maize. The probable reason for these beneficial effects on growth and egg production of these sorghum cultivars are their superior protein content (Table 1) and quality in terms of essential amino acids, especially lysine, as has been reported by Shamme et al (2016) and Fantaye (2018). According to Ravindran et al (2005) the digestibility of the protein was higher for sorghum compared to maize (99 vs. 81%).

Table 4. Dry matter intake, body weight gain and egg laying performance of white leghorn layers fed rations containing different sorghum grain varieties as a replacement for maize

Maize

Lalo

Gemedi

Chemeda

SEM

p

DM intake, g/hen/d

102b

111.8a

113.3a

117.9a

3.43

0.010

Initial BW, g

988

986.42

994.2

989.8

6.82

0.579

Final BW, g

1018c

1034.1b

1054.6a

1062.87a

5.30

<.0001

Weight gain, g/d

0.33d

0.52c

0.67b

0.81a

0.05

<.0001

HDEP, %

46.66b

55.66a

55.00a

58.78a

2.85

0.0046

Egg weight g

49.68b

56.56p

56.61a

59.77a

2.58

0.0081

Egg mass, g/hen/d

23.22b

30.69a

31.13a

35.06a

2.05

0.0006

FCE, g egg/g feed

0.22b

0.28a

0.27a

0.30a

0.02

0.0058

abc Means in the same row without common superscript differ at p<0.05

Egg quality

Egg quality in terms of weight of albumen and yolk favored the sorghum treatments (Table 5) but other measures of egg characteristics showed no differences due to sorghum varieties compared with maize. The results for albumen weight, height and Haugh unit are in line with the report by Suk and Park (2001) but differ from those reported by Ebadi et al (2005) where albumen weight was positively associated with egg weight. All treatments for HU scores were within the recommended range of 70-100, which is an indication of good egg quality (Lewko and Gornowicz 2009). The present findings show that there are no negative effects of sorghum grain varieties used in this experiment on yolk quality. Egg shell weight and thickness results agree with those reported by Zebiba (2012) and Imik et al (2006). Yolk color attributes were also normal (Table 6). Most egg quality parameters did not differ among treatments showing that sorghum varieties can replace maize as a major energy source without affecting egg quality.

Figure 1. Mean values for feed intake by laying hens fed different
varieties of grain sorghum compared with maize
Figure 2. Mean values for weight gain by laying hens fed different
varieties of grain sorghum compared with maize


Figure 3. Mean values for hen-day egg production by laying hens fed different
varieties of grain sorghum compared with maize
Figure 4. Mean values for feed efficiency (weight of eggs/feed intake) by laying
hens fed different varieties of grain sorghum compared with maize


Table 5. Quality parameters of eggs from hens fed sorghum grain as a replacement for maize

Maize

Lalo

Gemedi

Chemeda

SEM

SL

Shell thickness, mm)

0.32

0.32

0.34

0.28

0.03

NS

Egg shell weight, g

5.83

5.86

6.02

6.34

0.22

NS

Albumen weight, g

26.14c

28.67bc

29.86b

35.46a

0.98

***

Albumen height, mm

7.78

7.89

8.03

8.36

0.61

NS

Haugh unit

90.2

90.3

90.5

91.9

3.25

NS

Egg yolk weight, g

12.73c

14.8b

15.6b

16.8a

0.45

***

Yolk height, mm

14.6

14.3

14

14.3

0.27

NS

Yolk diameter, cm

3.3

3.2

3.2

3.2

0.15

NS

Yolk index, mm

0.45

0.46

0.4

0.45

0.022

NS

Yolk color

3.9

4.1

4.1

4.7

0.57

NS



Table 6. Yolk color points of egg samples from white leghorn layers fed diets containing sorghum grain varieties as a replacement for maize grain

Treatments

Roche color fan number

Total

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Maize

2

8

12

13

12

4

3

54

Lalo

7

4

5

7

12

11

8

54

Gemedi

2

4

9

10

17

9

3

54

Chemeda

4

3

5

7

11

11

13

54

Total

15

19

32

37

52

35

27

216


Conclusion


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