Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 7, Issue 3&4,2009
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Growth performance and meat wholesomeness of broiler chickens reared on different types of litter materials


I. A. Adebayo 1*, T. A. M. Awoniyi 1, A. H. Akenroye 2

Recieved Date: 2009-07-19, Accepted Date: 2009-10-10


In an experiment carried out to determine the effects of using different litter materials on the growth performance and wholesomeness of broiler meat for consumption, one hundred and fifty day old broiler chicks were purchased from a commercial hatchery. The chicks were reared for eight weeks and thereafter examined for carcass quality and bacterial load. Wood shavings (control) and saw-dusts, both from Brachystegia eurycoma wood; ricehusks, sand and grass (Eleusine indica) were used as the study litter materials. These constituted the five treatments, each replicated thrice in a completely randomized design. Ten broiler chicks were weighed and randomly assigned per replicate. Data were taken per replicate on weekly basis. The results showed that birds reared on rice husks were significantly affected (P<0.05) in weight gain in the first two weeks of the experiment, while feed consumption and feed conversion ratios were not significantly affected (P>0.05) by all the treatments. Belly fat alone was significantly affected (P<0.05) by type of litter materials in all carcass and organ parameters tested. Mortality rate of experimental birds were less than 3.5% throughout the period of the experiment. Bacterial counts of 3.4 x 103 and 7.5 x 103 colonies formed per unit (CFU) were found in the duodenum of broilers reared on grass and wood shavings, respectively. Bacterial isolates from the pure cultures included Streptococcus faecalisEsherichia coliStaphylococcus aureusKlebsiella and Salmonella species. These results showed that any of the litter materials used in this study could be used for rearing broiler chickens on a deep litter system. Also, meat of broiler chickens reared on the study litter materials are safe and wholesome for human consumption.


Growth performance, bacteriological condition, broiler chickens, litter materials

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2009
Volume: 7
Issue: 3&4
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 209-213

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