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Pak J Biol Sci. 2012 Nov 1;15(21):1010-8.

Effect of dietary levels of decorticated cow pea (Vigna unguiculata) supplemented with molasses on broiler chicks performance and carcass traits.

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Department of Poultry Production, Faculty of Animal Production, University of Khartoum, Sudan.


Manny legumes are used extensively as animal feed. This study was conducted to look at the effects of decorticated cow pea seeds based diets supplemented with molasses on broiler performance and carcass traits. A total of 240 unsexed one-day old broiler chicks (Ross 308) were used .The birds were randomly divided into six equal groups (treatments) and each group consisted of 8 (replicates). Six experimental diets (starter and finisher) were formulated to be approximately isocaloric and isonitrogenous. The cow pea was included at three levels (0, 10 and 20%) with two levels of molasses at (0, 3%). Decorticated cowpea and raw cowpea contain 25.86 vs. 24.78% crude protein, 1.41 vs. 0.91% ether extract, 3.36 vs. 3.33% ash and 2.64 vs. 3.46% crude fiber on dry matter basis. Methionine content was high in decorticated cowpea (0.40%) compared with raw cowpea (0.35%), the vice versa hold true for lysine, 1.74 in raw seeds vs. 1.62% in decorticated seeds. Decorticated cowpea seed at 10 or 20% without molasses significantly (p<0.05) improved final body weight (1999.50-2051.32 g vs. 1986.32 in the control group). Whereas, the molasses addition at 3% significantly decreased final body weight (1838.42-1900.79 g vs. 1986.32 in the control group) and total feed intake (3150.75- 3300.75 vs. 3318.00 +/- 26.45 g in the control group). The inclusion of 20% cowpea with 3% molasses significantly improved feed conversion ratio in 20 cow pea with 3% molasses It is concluded that cow pea seeds is a good source of protein that can be used in broiler feeds safely to give satisfactory results.

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