Inclusion of a fermented fish by-product meal in guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) diets: performance and carcass quality.


Guineafowl--Feeding and feeds--Economic aspects

How to Cite

Santiago-Anadón, H. L., Argüelles, M., & Rodríguez, A. A. (2004). Inclusion of a fermented fish by-product meal in guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) diets: performance and carcass quality. The Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico, 88(3-4), 145-154.


Guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) is a poultry species suitable for use in meat production to expand and diversify the local poultry industry because of its advantages of high consumer acceptance, resistance to common poultry diseases, and tolerance to poor management conditions. However, the poor feed conversion of this species increases feed costs and limits production. To reduce feed costs it is imperative to find locally available feedstuffs of low cost but with adequate nutritional value. The use of a fermented fish by-product meal (FFBPM) as a protein source in guinea diets could satisfy these criteria and reduce feed costs. This study with 180 birds was undertaken to evaluate the effects of the inclusion of a FFBPM in guinea diets on productive performance and carcass quality. Treatments consisted of FFBPM inclusion at levels of 0 (control), 5, and 10% in each of the starter, grower, and finisher diets. Feed and birds were weighed at 0, 35, 63, and 84 d to determine body weight (BW) and feed conversion. At 84 d, half the birds of each treatment were processed for evaluating carcass composition and determining yields of carcass and major cuts. Fasted live body weights, and plucked and dressed carcass weights were recorded and yields calculated. No significant differences in BW were observed among treatments at 0,63, and 84 d. At 35 d, BW was lower (P < 0.05) in birds with a 10% FFBPM inclusion. Feed conversion at 35 d was also higher with 10% FFBPM and lower in control birds, whereas those receiving 5% FFBPM did not differ from those of the other treatments. Birds fed 10% FFBPM showed significantly lower live, plucked, and dressed weights than those of the control and those fed 5% FFBPM. No differences among treatments were observed in yields of dressed carcass, major cuts, and the proportions of flesh, skin, and bone. However, the percentage of abdominal fats was significantly lower in birds fed a 10% FFBPM than in birds of the control and in those fed the 5% FFBPM level. The results of this study indicate that the inclusion of up to 5% FFBPM in guinea diets has no detrimental effect on bird performance and carcass quality. Thus, FFBPM could be a valuable feed ingredient to supply part of the dietary protein requirements of guinea fowl.


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