Laying performance and cost-benefits of feeding brown laying hens with raw or processed tropical sickle pod (Senna obtusifolia) seed meal based-diets

C. Augustine1*, I.D. Kwari2, J.U. Igwebuikwe2, S.B. Adamu2, C.I. Medugu2, D.I. Mojaba1

1Department of Animal Production, Adamawa State University, Mubi, Nigeria 2Department of Animal Science, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 22 December 2017; accepted for publication 15 August 2018)

Abstract. . A feeding trial was conducted for 16 weeks to evaluate the effects and cost-benefits of feeding raw or processed Senna obtusifolia (S. obtusifolia) seed meal based-diets on the laying performance of ISA brown laying hens. Six experimental diets were compounded to contain 0% S. obtusifolia seed meal (T1) and 20% each of the raw, boiled, soaked, sprouted and fermented S. obtusifolia seed meals designated as T2, T3, T4, T5 and T6, respectively. One hundred and eighty (180) ISA brown laying hens aged 36 weeks were housed in battery cages (5 birds/0.95m2) and assigned to the six (6) dietary treatments in groups of thirty (30) birds in a completely randomized design. Each replicate cage contains 10 laying hens. Data were collected on feed intake, hen-day egg production (HDEP), hen-house egg production (HHEP), egg weight, egg mass, feed conversion ratio per egg mass, feed cost per kilogram, feed cost per egg mass and mortality. The results indicated that the group of laying hens fed raw S. obtusifolia seed meal based diet recorded the lowest HDEP (52.42%), egg weight (53.08g) and egg mass (2782.45g). Among the hens fed the processed S. obtusifolia seed meal based diets, the laying hens fed the fermented S. obtusifolia seed meal based diet indicated significantly (p<0.05) better HDEP (64.05%), egg weight (58.45g) and egg mass (3743.72g). On economic grounds, the use of raw S. obtusifolia is not cost effective because feed cost per kilogram egg was relatively high (N317.47 or $0.82) in the group of laying hens fed raw S. obtusifolia seed meal based diet. However, the processed S. obtusifolia seed meal based diets showed some economic advantage. In conclusion, 20% of fermented S. obtusifolia seed meal can be incorporated in the diets of laying hens with little or no depreciation in laying performance and economic-benefits.