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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2005;18(1): 80-84.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2005.80    Published online April 19, 2005.
Utilization of Graded Levels of Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana) in Place of Yellow Maize in Commercial Broiler Chicken Diets
S. V. Rama Rao, M. V. L. N. Raju, M. R. Reddy, A. K. Panda
An experiment was conducted to study the performance, carcass traits, serum lipid profile and immune competence in commercial broilers (2 to 42 d of age) fed graded levels (25, 50, 75 and 100%) of finger millet (FM) (Elusine coracana) in place (w/w) of yellow maize (YM). Each diet was fed to eight replicates (five female Vencobb broilers/replicate) housed in stainless steel battery brooders. The estimated metabolizable energy content of FM was about 540 kcal less than the YM. FM contained more protein (10.42 vs. 9.05%) and fibre (9.52 vs. 2.24%) compared to YM. Body weight gain, ready to cook yield, relative weights of giblet, liver, intestine and length of intestine at 42 d of age was not affected due to replacing YM with FM. But, the feed efficiency decreased in broilers fed diets containing 75 and 100% FM in place of YM at both 21 and 42 d of age. The amount of fat deposited in abdominal area decreased and the relative weight of gizzard increased with increase in level of FM in the diet. The serum HDL cholesterol at 21 and 42 d of age and serum triglycerides at 42 d of age decreased with increase in level of FM in diet. The relative weight of spleen and antibody titers against sheep red blood cells (SRBC) at 5 d post inoculation (PI) decreased in broilers fed FM at 100% of YM. However, the relative weight of bursa, SRBC titers at 10 d PI, antibody titers against ND virus and mortality were not affected due to incorporation of FM in place of YM in diet. The fat content in thigh muscle and liver decreased, while the protein content in these tissues increased with increase in the level of FM in broiler diet. Based on the results, it may be concluded that YM can be replaced with FM up to 25% on weight basis without affecting weight gain, carcass yields and immunity in commercial broiler diet (up to 42 d of age). Further, inclusion of finger millet reduced the fat deposition in thigh muscle, liver and in abdominal area compared to those fed maize as the principal source of energy.
Keywords: Finger Millet; Broiler Chicken; Growth; Carcass Traits; Immunity; Serum Cholesterol

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