The effect of feeding varying dietary lysine to energy levels on growth and haematological values of indigenous Venda chickens aged 8 - 13 weeks was evaluated. Four hundred and twenty Venda chickens (BW 362 ± 10 g) were allocated to four dietary treatments in a completely randomized design. Each treatment was replicated seven times, and each replicate had fifteen chickens. Four maize-soya beans-based diets were formulated. Each diet had similar CP (150 g/kg DM) and lysine (8 g lysine/kg DM) but varying energy levels (11, 12, 13 and 14 MJ ME/kg DM). The birds were reared in a deep litter house; feed and water were provided ad libitum. Data on growth and haematological values were collected and analysed using one-way analysis of variance. Duncan's test for multiple comparisons was used to test the significant difference between treatment means (p < 0.05). A quadratic equation was used to determine dietary lysine to energy ratios for optimum parameters which were significant difference. Results showed that dietary energy level influenced (p < 0.05) feed intake, feed conversion ratio, live weight, haemoglobin and pack cell volume values of chickens. Dry matter digestibility, metabolizable energy and nitrogen retention not influenced by dietary lysine to energy ratio. Also, white blood cell, red blood cell, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration in female Venda chickens aged 91 days were not influenced by dietary lysine to energy ratio. It is concluded that dietary lysine to energy ratios of 0.672, 0.646, 0.639 and 0.649 optimized feed intake, growth rate, FCR and live weight in indigenous female Venda chickens fed diets containing 8 g of lysine/kg DM, 150 g of CP/kg DM and 11 MJ of ME/kg DM. This has implications in diet formulation for indigenous female Venda chickens.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology