The objective of this study was to determine the effects of low tannin sorghum as a maize replacement on the performance and bone morphometrics of Ross 308 broiler chickens. A total of 250 one-day-old broiler chickens were allotted to a complete randomized design with five treatments replicated five times. Birds were offered varying sorghum levels as maize replacement at 0% (control), 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%, formulated to be isonutritive and isoenergetic. The condensed tannin and total phenolic contents of the sorghum were analysed. Bodyweight and feed intake were measured weekly to calculate feed conversion ratio (FCR), and mortality was recorded as it occurred. Digestibility measurements were done when the chickens were between 15 and 21 days and between 35 and 42 days old. At ages 21 and 42 days, two chickens per pen were slaughtered to determine bone characteristics. A digital calliper was used to measure the length and diameter of the bones, and an electronic scale was used to determine the weight of the bones. Ash, calcium and phosphorus concentrations of the bones were determined. The Seedor and robusticity indices of the tibia were also calculated. The general linear model procedure of Statistical Analysis Software was used to analyse the data. At 1 - 21 days old bodyweight was higher for birds fed a level of 50% sorghum than those that were offered the control diet. Replacing maize with sorghum improved the metabolizable energy (ME) of broiler chickens aged 42 days. Bodyweight and FCR of birds fed diets with 50%, 75% and 100% sorghum were higher and better, respectively, than those on diets with 25% and 0% sorghum at 22 - 42 days old. Bone morphometries of chickens aged 1 - 21 days and 22 - 42 days were not affected by replacing maize with sorghum. Thus, maize can be replaced by a low tannin white sorghum without causing adverse effects on chickens.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology