M. M. Ari, M. K. Baba, A. Yakubu, L. Y. Guluwa, I. S. Musa-Azara


This experiment was conducted using one hundred and eighty (180) day- old marshal chicks randomly assigned in a Completely Randomized design to evaluate the effect of inclusion of differently treated melon (Citrullus vulgaris) husk on the performance, carcass characteristics and serum profile of broilers. Dried melon husks were collected and subjected to three (3) processing methods. The first portion was mechanical ground using hammer mill and sieved, the second portion was soakedfor 30 minutes in warm water at the rate of 100kg melon husk per 50 litres of warm water before sun drying; and the third portion was fermented with rumenliquor for 72 hours at room temperature at the rate of 50kg melon husk per 10 litres of rumen liquor. During the 43- d feeding trial period, birds were fed ad lib with experimental diets D1, D2 and D3 representing 15% inclusions of Mechanically Treated Melon Husk (MTMH); Soaked Melon Husk (SMH) and Rumen Liquor Fermented Melon Husk (FMH) respectively. Body weight gain (BWG), feed:gain (FCR) and survival percentage (%) were significantly (p<0.05) affected by treatment method with D3 values being greater than D2 and D1. Dressed weight, thigh/drumstick, wings, breast bone, were significantly (P< 0.05) affected by melon husk treatment method. The highest average body weight (2.23 kg), dressed weight, and thigh/drumstick, wings, breast bone, rib cage and back were observed in the D3 group. The serum biochemical and hematological values obtained in the study differed significantly (P< 0.05) between experimental treatments but are within standard ranges. It was concluded that melon husk can be included as a feed ingredient for broilers without any significant deleterious effects on their performance, haematology, serum and carcass quality indicators. However, processing of melon husk was shown to improveitsnutrient composition, therefore, 15% inclusion level of rumen liquor fermented melon husk was recommended for better performance of broiler chickens.


Broiler Chickens, Carcass, Melon Husk, Performance

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