EFFECTS OF RAW, COOKED AND DEFATTED MELON SEEDS ON PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS AND MINERAL RETENTION OF BROILER CHICKENS
Akanji, A. M.
Journal Title:Journal of Environmental Issues and Agriculture in Developing Countries
This study was carried out to determine the effects of raw, cooked, toasted and defatted melon seeds on performance characteristics and mineral retention of broiler chickens. The plant seeds were fed to the birds at 15% level . A total of 200 day old broiler chicks of the Marshall strain were randomly allocated to five dietary groups in a completely randomized design. The experiment lasted for five weeks. Feed intake was similar between birds fed the control diet and those fed cooked melon seeds , but significantly reduced in birds fed raw melon seed. Body weight gain (BWG), feed conversion efficiency (FCE) and protein efficiency ratio (PER) were higher in birds fed cooked melon seeds , but significantly reduced in the birds fed raw and defatted melon seeds respectively. Birds fed on toasted melon seeds however ranked next to those fed on cooked melon seeds in BWG, FCE and PER values respectively. Nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus and iron retention were markedly reduced in birds fed on raw melon seeds. Phosphorus and iron retention were however similar between those fed on toasted and defatted melon seeds respectively. Over all, the best significant improvements in the response indices were obtained in birds fed on cooked melon seeds as the birds fed on the diet competed favorably with the control group. It is therefore recommended that cooked melon seeds are best incorporated into diets of broiler chickens.