Evaluation of Mexican sunflower (Helianthus annus l) leaf meal as a feed ingredient in shaver brown pullets.

Avaliação do girassol mexicano (Helianthus annus l) farinha de folha como ingrediente de ração em frangas marrons shaver.

F. Okedu E.O. Ahaotu P. de los Ríos-Escalante D. Nwabuisi About the authors

Abstract

The use of alternative nutritional sources is an important topic for animal production such as poultry. This study examined the effect of replacing soybean meal with sunflower leaf meal in the diet of laying shaver brown pullets. A total of 30 laying birds were assigned to three treatments of 0% (as control group), 10% and 15% MSFLM inclusion. Four eggs per replicate were randomly taken for three consecutive days at two weeks interval for five times, and 18 weeks individuals were selected after 40 days of experimental time. External parameters of the eggs (egg weight, egg length, egg breadth and egg shape index, shell thickness), and body parameters (Final body weight, weight gain), feed intake and hen day production were measured. For egg length, egg breadth and shell thickness showed significant difference (p< 0.05) in from the control birds. Final body weight, weight gain, feed intake and hen day production showed comparable results with values from eggs of birds on control diet. The study revealed the ability of birds to easily utilize the nutrients in the protein sources. MSFLM utilization up to 15% in pullets’ diet revealed no detrimental effect on the performance of the laying birds and the external qualities of eggs produced.

Keywords:
Mexican sunflower; performance; hen day production; egg profile; carcass characteristics

Resumo

O uso de fontes nutricionais alternativas é um tópico importante para a produção animal, como a avicultura. Este estudo examinou o efeito da substituição do farelo de soja por farelo de folha de girassol na dieta de frangas marrons barbeadoras poedeiras. Um total de 30 aves poedeiras foram designadas a três tratamentos de 0% (como grupo controle), 10% e 15% de inclusão MSFLM. Quatro ovos por repetição foram retirados aleatoriamente por três dias consecutivos em intervalos de duas semanas por cinco vezes, e indivíduos de 18 semanas foram selecionados após 40 dias do tempo experimental. Parâmetros externos dos ovos (peso do ovo, comprimento do ovo, largura do ovo e índice de forma do ovo, espessura da casca) e parâmetros corporais (peso corporal final, ganho de peso), consumo de ração e produção diária da galinha foram medidos. Para comprimento do ovo, largura do ovo e espessura da casca apresentaram diferença significativa (p <0,05) nas aves controle. Peso corporal final, ganho de peso, consumo de ração e produção de dia de galinha mostraram resultados comparáveis ​​com valores de ovos de aves em dieta controle. O estudo revelou a capacidade das aves de utilizar facilmente os nutrientes das fontes de proteína. A utilização de MSFLM até 15% na dieta das frangas não revelou nenhum efeito prejudicial no desempenho das aves poedeiras e nas qualidades externas dos ovos produzidos.

Palavras-chave:
girassol mexicano; desempenho; produção de dia da galinha; perfil do ovo; características da carcaça

1. Introduction

Poultry is the quickest source of meat in relation to other livestock enterprises (Obioha, 1992OBIOHA, F.C., 1992. A guide to poultry production in the tropic. Enuya: ACENA. pp. 15-105.). Poultry adapts easily to most areas of the world, have a low economic value, low generation interval and a high rate of productivity (Smith, 2001SMITH, A.J., 2001. Poultry. 2nd ed. London: Macmillan Publishers Ltd, pp 1-11.). In Nigeria, the daily dietary intake of animal protein (3.24 g) falls grossly short of the recommended 27 g animal protein per caput/day (Ahaotu et al., 2018aAHAOTU, E.O., AMADINZE, C. and AHAOTU, E.O., 2018a. Carcass and organ weight indices of feeding different levels of Pawpaw Leaf Meal (Carica papaya) on finisher broiler birds. Journal of Materials Science and Technology, vol. 6, pp. 1-4.; Ajayi et al., 2007AJAYI, A.F., FARINU, G.O., OJEBIYI, O.O. and OLAYENI, T.B., 2007. Performance evaluation of male weaner rabbits fed diets containing graded levels of blood-wild sunflower leaf meal mixture. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences, vol. 3, pp. 250-255.). The ascribed low protein consumption may be attributed to the declining animal protein production occasioned by high cost of livestock production which amounted to cost of feeds (Ahaotu, 2018AHAOTU, E.O., 2018. Toad meat meal as a viable feed ingredient in starter broiler rations. Veterinary Research International, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 32-35.). It is obvious therefore that any one of the possible remedies will be an effort to reduce cost of production (Ahaotu et al., 2018cAHAOTU, E.O., ONYEGBULA, T. and AHAOTU, E.O., 2018c. Haematological characteristics and organoleptic test of feeding different levels of Pawpaw (Carica papaya) leaf meal on finisher broiler birds. International Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, vol. 5, pp. 10-14.).

Poultry feedstuffs are expensive, thereby limiting the growth of poultry industry in the tropics. Most of the developing countries are situated in tropical areas and there is lack of the necessary funds to import the ingredients for human and livestock feeding (Ahaotu et al., 2017bAHAOTU, E.O., IFUT, O.J. and AKINFEMI, A., 2017b. Characteristics of small holder sheep production from selected local government councils and states in Nigeria. In: Proceedings of the 20th Biennial Conference, 1-5 August 2017, Ghana. Ghana: Society of Animal Production, pp. 64-72., 2018bAHAOTU, E.O., KWUSHUE, V. and AHAOTU, E.O., 2018b. Performance implications of feeding different levels of Pawpaw (Carica papaya) leaf meal on finisher broiler birds. Journal Poultry Sciences and Technology, vol. 6, pp. 1-4.). The current low supply of animal protein in developing countries justifies the research into the potentials of local produced feed resources for productive animals such as leaf meals, which could be included into the poultry diets in order to sustain the poultry enterprises and to improve the profit margin through reducing the use of the conventional protein sources (Ekeocha, 2012aEKEOCHA, A.H., 2012a. Utilization of Mexican sunflower leaf meal-based diets by pre weaned West African dwarf lambs. Poljoprivreda / Agricul. Forest., vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 41-46., bEKEOCHA, A.H., 2012b. Hematology, growth and performance of goose fed rations supplemented with Mexican sunflower leaf (MSL). Poultry Science, vol. 91, suppl. 1, pp. 133., cEKEOCHA, A.H., 2012c. Blood parameters, growth and performance of turkey starters fed rations supplemented with Mexican sunflower leaf (MSL). Poultry Science, vol. 91, suppl. 1, pp. 89.; Fasuyi et al., 2010FASUYI, A.O., DAIRO, F.A.S. and IBITAYO, F.J., 2010. Ensiling wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) leaves with sugar cane molasses. Livestock Research for Rural Development, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 2010., 2012FASUYI, A.O., IBITAYO, F.J. and FAGBUARO, S.S., 2012. Carcass and slaughter traits of weanling pigs fed graded levels of wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) leaf meal. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, vol. 12, no. 51, pp. 6123-6134. http://dx.doi.org/10.18697/ajfand.51.2010270.
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, 2013FASUYI, A.O., IBITAYO, F.J. and ALO, O.S., 2013. Histopathology, haematology and serum chemistry of growing pigs fed varying levels of wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) leaf meal as protein supplements. Veterinary Research, vol. 6, pp. 78-87.; Fasuyi and Ibitayo 2011aFASUYI, A.O. and IBITAYO, F.J., 2011a. Preliminary analyses and amino acid profile of wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) leaves. International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 164-170. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ijbcs.v5i1.68094.
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, bFASUYI, A.O. and IBITAYO, F.J., 2011b. Nitrogen balance and morphometric traits of weanling pigs fed graded levels of wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) leaf meal. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 5125-5141. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ajfand.v11i5.70441.
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; Ahaotu 2018AHAOTU, E.O., 2018. Toad meat meal as a viable feed ingredient in starter broiler rations. Veterinary Research International, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 32-35.). The Mexican sunflowers (Helianthus annus L. Gray) which belong to the Compositae family are seen on road sides, fallow land and as invader of field crops in the forest savannah transition zone (Odunsi et al., 1996ODUNSI, A.A., FARINU, G.O. and AKINOLA, J.O., 1996. Influence of dietary wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia Helms. A Gray) leaf meal on layers performance and egg quality. Nigerian Journal of Animal Production, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 28-32. http://dx.doi.org/10.51791/njap.v23i1.2046.
http://dx.doi.org/10.51791/njap.v23i1.20...
; Farinu et al., 1999FARINU, G.O., ODUNSI, A.A., AKINOLA, J.O. and TOGUN, V.A., 1999. Yield and chemical composition of wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia Helms. A. Gray) and feeding value of wild sunflower forage meal in broiler chicken diets. Tropical Journal of Animal Sciences, vol. 2, pp. 31-37.; Dutta et al., 1986DUTTA, P., BHATTACHARYYA, P.R., RABHA, L.C., BORDOLOI, D.N., BARUA, N.C., CHOWDHURY, P.K., SHARMA, R.P. and BARUA, J.N., 1986. Feeding deterrents forphilosamia ricini (samia cynthia subsp.Ricini) fromtithonia diversifolia. Phytoparasitica, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 77-80. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02980481.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02980481...
; Akinola et al., 2000AKINOLA, J.O., LARBI, A., FARINU, G.O. and ODUNSI, A.A., 2000. Seed treatment methods and duration effects on germination of wild sunflower. Experimental Agriculture, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 63-69. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0014479700361075.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0014479700361...
). Its acceptability by ruminant and non-ruminant livestock, its relative abundance, and the low cost of processing the forage makes it a potential non-conventional animal feed source in the derived savannah zone (Ahaotu and Ifut, 2018AHAOTU, E.O. and IFUT, O.J., 2018. Consequences of heat tolerance in west african dwarf sheep. Livestock Research International, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1-7.). It grows as annual, biennial, or perennial plant depending on the habitat. It has been fed to sheep, goat and cattle (Ekeocha, 2009EKEOCHA, A.H. 2009. Utilization of mexican sunflower (Helianthus annus) by the West African dwarf sheep. Ibadan: University of Ibadan. Ph.D Thesis, 224 pp.).

H. annus is a woody herb, stoloniferous, annual or perennial that can reach a height of 2 to 3 m (Odedire and Oloidi, 2011ODEDIRE, J.A. and OLOIDI, F.F., 2011. Processing Wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) leaves as forage supplement in ruminant diet: Effect of air drying method on anti-nutritive components. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Sustainable Animal Agriculture for Developing countries, 26-29 July 2011, Nakhon Ratchasima. Nakhon Ratchasima: SAADC, pp. 312-316.). It has a taproot with many fine secondary roots (Njidda et al., 2010NJIDDA, A.A., IKHIMIOYE, B.F., MUHAMMAD, M. and AMAZA, I.B., 2010. Chemical composition, fibre fraction and anti-nutritive substances of selected semi-arid browse. In: Proceedings of 35th Annual Conference of Nigerian Society for Animal Production (NSAP), 14-17 March 14-17 2010, Ibadan. Ibadan: University of Ibadan. pp. 477-480.). The herbaceous mass can develop from subterranean stolons. The leaves are alternate or opposite, sub-ovate, densely pubescent, 5-17 cm long x 3.5-12 cm broad. Each mature stem may bear several large yellow flowers, up to 12 cm in diameter (Ekeocha and Afolabi, 2012EKEOCHA, A.H. and AFOLABI, K.D., 2012. Carcass characteristics of broilers fed Mexican sunflower (Helianthus annus) leaf meal-based diets. Journal of Animal Production Advanced, vol. 2, pp. 271-276.; Abeysekera and Robles, 1993ABEYSEKERA, M.M. and ROBLES, R.P., 1993. Comparative study on the inhibitory effect of wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia (Herm SL) Gray) and Mexican sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) on rice and E. colona (L.). In: 24th Annual Scientific Meeting of Pest Management Council of the Philippines Inc, 4-7 May 1993, Cebu. Cebu: Pest Management Council of the Philippines Inc, pp 45-56.).

Mexican sunflower seeds are almost free of toxic compounds that may impede their use in human or animal nutrition. However, sunflower seeds have arginase and trypsin inhibitors which are heat labile and inactivated easily (Ahaotu et al., 2018dAHAOTU, E.O., UWALAKA, R.E., EDIH, M.C. and IHIAHA, P.O., 2018d. Characterization and extraction of oil, biogas and biodiesel from Moringa oleifera seeds. Journal of Agriculture and Biological and Environmental Sciences, vol. 5, pp. 1-5.; Akinola et al., 2000AKINOLA, J.O., LARBI, A., FARINU, G.O. and ODUNSI, A.A., 2000. Seed treatment methods and duration effects on germination of wild sunflower. Experimental Agriculture, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 63-69. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0014479700361075.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0014479700361...
). The seeds of Mexican sunflower have a polyphenolic compound, chlorogenic acid, which has been hindering their broad use for human consumption. Chlorogenic acid is bound to low molecular weight proteins by a hydrogen bond between the hydroxyl groups of phenolic compounds and peptide bond in proteins (Fasuyi et al., 2010FASUYI, A.O., DAIRO, F.A.S. and IBITAYO, F.J., 2010. Ensiling wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) leaves with sugar cane molasses. Livestock Research for Rural Development, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 2010.). Both genotype of the seeds and environmental conditions during seed maturation have a direct effect on the concentration of chlorogenic acid in the seed.

Mexican sunflower is a tropical herb or shrub cultivated in many countries of Africa, Asia, and South America for its multipurpose value. As fodder, it is rich in protein, valuable for ruminants and rabbits, but less for poultry and pigs, probably due to the presence of fibre and anti-nutritional factors. Mexican sunflower is used for a variety of purposes: ornamental, fuel, compost, land demarcation, soil erosion control, soil remediation, building materials and shelter for poultry (Adam, 2013ADAM, N., 2013. Digestibility and growth performance of female rabbit fed Tithonia diversifolia leaf meal. Kumasi, Ghana: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, 61 p. Doctoral dissertation.). It is considered a weed in some areas (Alonso et al., 2013ALONSO, J., ACHANG, G., SANTOS, L.D.T. and SAMPAIO, R.A., 2013. Productivity of Tithonia diversifolia and animal behavior with grazing beginning at different stages of growth. Livestock Research for Rural Development, vol. 25, pp. 192.). Mexican sunflower is commonly used as fodder for ruminants and rabbits, which can eat the leaves, soft branches, and flowers. Its potential has been tested in pigs and poultry with mixed results (Ekeocha and Fakolade, 2012EKEOCHA, A.H. and FAKOLADE, P.O., 2012. Nutrient and cell wall fraction digestibility of growing WAD ewe fed Mexican sunflower leaf meal (MSLM) based diets. Scientific Journal of Animal Sciences, vol. 1, pp. 98-106.). Mexican sunflower is a fast-growing plant that tolerates heat and drought and can rapidly form large herbaceous shrubs (CABI, 2014CENTRE FOR AGRICULTURAL BIOSCIENCE INTERNATIONAL – CABI, 2014. Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International, pp. 190-213.). It is adaptable to most soils. It is found in disturbed areas, abandoned and waste lands, along roadsides and waterways and on cultivated farmlands (Ekeocha, and Fakolade, 2013EKEOCHA, A.H. and FAKOLADE, P.O., 2013. Nutrient digestibility of pregnant WAD ewe fed Mexican sunflower leaf meal (MSLM) based diets. International Journal of Agricultural Sciences, vol. 3, pp. 423-431.). It can also be found from sea level up to an altitude of 1500 m.

However, the major limitation to the use of H. annus leaves in livestock feeds is the presence of some anti-nutrients notably phytin and tannins with some traces of alkaloids, saponins, oxalates and flavonoids (Fasuyi et al., 2010FASUYI, A.O., DAIRO, F.A.S. and IBITAYO, F.J., 2010. Ensiling wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) leaves with sugar cane molasses. Livestock Research for Rural Development, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 2010.). Major anti-nutrients in H. annus leaves (phytin, tannin, oxalate, alkaloid, and flavonoid) gradually decreased with lengthening duration of ensiling. Ensiling is the preservation of forage (or crop residue or by-product) of high moisture content based on a lactic (ideally) fermentation under anaerobic conditions (Ahaotu et al., 2018eAHAOTU, E.O., AMAJIOYI, N. and OKORIE, K.C., 2018e. Sustainability of Guinea Fowl (Numidia meleagris) layers fed varying levels of Centrosema pubescent leaf meal. Journal of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, vol. 3, pp. 28-35.). Ensiling is a feed processing technique reported to have helped in enhancing the feeding quality of agro-industrial by-products and other potential plant feedstuffs by reducing the level of toxicants where present, improving the nutrient value, acceptability of feed and utilization by animals (Ahaotu and Agunanne, 2017AHAOTU, E.O. and AGUNANNE, U.T., 2017. Egg production pattern in Anthony Patience Farms, Atta-Ikeduru, Imo State, Nigeria: influences on the phase of production and the estimated period of oviposition. In: Proc. 6th ASAN-NIAS Joint Annual Meeting, 10-14 September 2017, Ibadan. Ibadan: The Animal Science Association of Nigeria, pp. 375-380.). Mexican sunflower (H. annus) leaf meal is rich in protein and, in Nigeria, has been assessed as a potential replacement for soybean meal in pig diets (Fasuyi et al., 2013FASUYI, A.O., IBITAYO, F.J. and ALO, O.S., 2013. Histopathology, haematology and serum chemistry of growing pigs fed varying levels of wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) leaf meal as protein supplements. Veterinary Research, vol. 6, pp. 78-87.).

This study assessed these objectives: as to evaluate the utilization of Mexican sunflower leaf meal as feed for feeding shaver brown laying birds, examined the effects of feeding Mexican sunflower leaf meal at the replace soya bean meal to Shaver brown layers on performance and cost of production and finally determined the levels of inclusion of Mexican sunflower leaf meal in diets for shaver brown laying birds on carcass characteristics and egg profiles.

2. Materials and Methods

Experimental Site: The experiment will be carried out at the Poultry unit of the Teaching and Research farm, Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo, Imo State. Umuagwo is in the derived savannah zone of Nigeria. The study area is located on latitudes 5° 28’ 00’’N and 5° 30’ 00’’ N and longitudes 7° 01’ 06’’E and 7° 03’ 00’’ E. The mean annual rainfall is 1247 mm with a relative humidity of between 75 and 95%. It is situated at about 600 m above sea level with a mean annual temperature of 26.2°C (Nigeria, 2009NIGERIA, IMO STATE MINISTRY OF LANDS AND SURVEY – IMLS, 2009. Longitudes and latitudes locations of Umuagwo, Nigeria: Ohaji /Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.).

Processing of Mexican Sunflower Leaf Meal: The Mexican sunflower plants to be used for the preparation of Mexican sunflower Leaf Meal (MSFLM) was harvested from the uncultivated plots of the Polytechnic farm. The leaves and inflorescences and succulent stalks were harvested previous at the flowering stage considering its potentiality due its nutritional properties. The harvested leaves inflorescences and succulents stalks were spread on a concrete slab and air dried under shade for seven days and then ground in a laboratory mill with 4.0 mm sieve size and stored for later use.

Experimental diets and management: Three experimental diets containing 0 (as control group), 10 and 15% Mexican sunflower Leaf Meal (MSFLM) were formulated, and considering as experimental groups. Sunflower leaves and inflorescence and succulents stalks were harvested previous at flowering stage and air-dried at shadow for 7 days. The dried collection was then milled, using manual grinding machine, for do an ensiling process. Diets were prepared by replacing soy meal in the previous diet with varying levels of the sunflower forage meal. Three diets were formulated to contain 0% for group 1 (control), 10%, and 15% for the experimental groups 2 and 3 respectively (Table 1).

Table 1
Percentage of diets composition used in the present experiment.

Animals and management: Thirty points of lay shaver brown pullets were used for the study. They were first maintained on a standard commercial layer mash as a base line diet for one week after which they were randomly assigned to three dietary treatment groups containing Mexican sunflower leaf meal (MSFLM) at 0% (control) as group 1, 10% (group 2) and 15% (group 3). There are 3 replicates per group with 3 birds each one, and for each group it was sampled a replicate containing 3 birds each one (nine chickens total by each treatments distributed in three replicates with three birds each one) during 40 days. Ten birds were housed in a well-ventilated deep litter house partitioned into 2×5m2 pens. The experiment lasted for eight weeks during which the birds were offered feed and clean water ad-libitum. Routine poultry production management and health care practices were carried out during the experimental period.

Experimental design: The birds were allocated into three treatment groups. Each treatment group contains three birds by each replicate located in 2x5 m2 pens with three replicates of nine birds each per treatment in a Complete Randomized Design Experiment.

Data collection: At the pubertal age of 18 weeks as initial age of experimental birds, three shaver brown pullets per replicate were selected. The live weights of the birds were taken before they were slaughtered by severing their jugular veins. The carcasses were properly drained of blood, de-feathered and eviscerated. The dressed carcasses were weighed, and their weights were recorded. Feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion efficiency were also be monitored.

Sampling of eggs: Four eggs per replicate of 3 birds were sampled at random for 3 consecutive days fortnightly in experiments of two weeks each one for five times. Each egg was assessed separately for internal and external egg quality traits. For external quality traits, data on egg weight, albumen height, egg length, egg breadth, and egg shape index and shell thickness were collected.

Egg weight: The weight of each egg was measured with a top loading weighing balance to the nearest 0.01g.

Shell thickness: The shell of the broken egg was further broken into smaller pieces. The shell membrane was manually removed and the thickness of the egg shell was measured using a micrometer screw gauge.

Albumen Height: This was measured by using a tripod micrometer calibrated in 0.1mm. The dimension measured was taken between the yolk edge and the external edge of the thick albumen. The values obtained were used together with egg weight to calculate the Haugh unit on the basis of descriptions of Haugh (1937)HAUGH, R.R., 1937. The Haugh units for measuring egg quality. U.S. Egg Poultry Management, vol. 43, pp. 552-555..

Chemical Analysis: Proximate analysis of Mexican sunflower leaf meal and experimental diets as well as the faecal samples will be carried out using the procedures of AOAC (1990)ASSOCIATION OF OFFICIAL ANALYTICAL CHEMISTS – AOAC, 1990. Official Methods of Analysis. 15 ed. Washington D.C.: AOAC, pp. 69-88..

Statistical Analysis: Data collected were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) , previous verification of normality and homocedasticity (AOAC, 1990ASSOCIATION OF OFFICIAL ANALYTICAL CHEMISTS – AOAC, 1990. Official Methods of Analysis. 15 ed. Washington D.C.: AOAC, pp. 69-88.). The treatment mean values were tested for significant differences by Duncan’s Multiple Range Test of Gordon and Gordon (2004)GORDON, S.P. and GORDON, F.S., 2004. Contemporary statistics: a computer approach. New York: McGraw-Hill. with SAS software (SAS Institute, 2000SAS Institute, 2000. Institute Inc. SAS Technical Report P-243 SAS/STAT software. The GEMOD procedure. Release 6. 09. Cary: SAS Institute Inc.).

3. Results and Discussion

The proximate composition of MSFLM used in this study showed crude protein, crude fibre, ether extract, ash and nitrogen free extract of 17.2, 12.51, 6.04, 14.20 and 50.05% respectively (Table 2). The crude protein value was slightly lower than 18.4% reported by Nnadi et al., 2022NNADI, G.L., SIMEON-AHAOTU, V.C., DE LOS RÍOS-ESCALANTE, P. and AHOTU, E.O., 2022. Replacement level of rubber seed cake for soybean meal on the growth of Japanese quail. Brazilian Journal of Biology, vol. 82, e243242., Togun et al (2006aTOGUN, V.A., FARINU, G.O. and OLABANJI, R.O., 2006a. Feeding graded levels of wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia Hemsl. A. Gray) meal in replacement of maize at pre-pubertal age, negatively impacts on growth and morphometric characteristics of the genitalia of Anak 2000 broiler cocks at their pubertal age. World Applied Sciences Journal, vol. 1, pp. 115-121., bTOGUN, V.A., FARINU, G.O., OJEBIYI, O.O., AKINLADE, J.A. and POPOOLA, O.B., 2006b. Evaluation of three dietary levels of wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia, Hemsi A. Gray) forage meal on growth and carcass measurement of male rabbits. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, vol. 5, pp. 791-794.). This observation indicates that variation exists in nutrients composition of forage plants collected from different locations.

Table 2
Proximate composition of Mexican sunflower leaf meal.

About the performance characteristics, the similarity and adequate consumption of experimental diets by birds placed on different inclusion levels of MSFLM indicated that the factors responsible for reduced feed intake must have been sufficiently eliminated as previous study on H. annuus leaf meal (MSFLM) revealed that birds did not consume MSFLM adequately (Nnadi et al., 2022NNADI, G.L., SIMEON-AHAOTU, V.C., DE LOS RÍOS-ESCALANTE, P. and AHOTU, E.O., 2022. Replacement level of rubber seed cake for soybean meal on the growth of Japanese quail. Brazilian Journal of Biology, vol. 82, e243242.). The poor feed intake associated with un-ensiled MSFLM by birds was attributed to the low palatability as a result of tannin (Farinu et al., 1999FARINU, G.O., ODUNSI, A.A., AKINOLA, J.O. and TOGUN, V.A., 1999. Yield and chemical composition of wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia Helms. A. Gray) and feeding value of wild sunflower forage meal in broiler chicken diets. Tropical Journal of Animal Sciences, vol. 2, pp. 31-37.; Togun et al., 2006aTOGUN, V.A., FARINU, G.O., OJEBIYI, O.O., AKINLADE, J.A. and POPOOLA, O.B., 2006b. Evaluation of three dietary levels of wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia, Hemsi A. Gray) forage meal on growth and carcass measurement of male rabbits. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, vol. 5, pp. 791-794., bTOGUN, V.A., FARINU, G.O. and OLABANJI, R.O., 2006a. Feeding graded levels of wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia Hemsl. A. Gray) meal in replacement of maize at pre-pubertal age, negatively impacts on growth and morphometric characteristics of the genitalia of Anak 2000 broiler cocks at their pubertal age. World Applied Sciences Journal, vol. 1, pp. 115-121.). The similarity among average weight gain (AWG) and feed conversion rate (FCR) values of layers on the control diet without MSFLM, 10 and 15% MSFLM was a strong indication that the process of ensiling must have broken down some anti-nutrients such as phytin, tannin, alkaloids, and flavonoids which were hitherto responsible for the poor growth indices recorded for studies in which un-ensiled MSFLM were used in layers feeding trials (Nnadi et al., 2022NNADI, G.L., SIMEON-AHAOTU, V.C., DE LOS RÍOS-ESCALANTE, P. and AHOTU, E.O., 2022. Replacement level of rubber seed cake for soybean meal on the growth of Japanese quail. Brazilian Journal of Biology, vol. 82, e243242.).

It has been suggested that a high phytin value of 79.10 mg/100 g in MSFLM (Fasuyi et al., 2010FASUYI, A.O., DAIRO, F.A.S. and IBITAYO, F.J., 2010. Ensiling wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) leaves with sugar cane molasses. Livestock Research for Rural Development, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 2010.) could lower bioavailability of minerals and inhibition of several proteolytic enzymes and amylases. This is further buttressed by the submission that anti-nutritional nature of phytin lies in its ability to chelate certain mineral elements especially Calcium, Manganese, Iron and Zinc, thereby rendering them metabolically unavailable and leading to the subsequent development of osteomalacia when certain legumes and cereals are fed to growing animals (Forbes and Erdman Junior, 1983).

Performance indices (Table 3) were not significant (P>0.05) among the treatment means. Final body weight, weight gain and hen – day production was least in layers fed the 15% MSFLM based diet. The similar values across dietary treatments in terms of performance may be due to the ability of layers to utilize easily the nutrients in the protein sources.

Table 3
Effects of graded levels of Mexican sunflower leaf meal on performance of shaver brown layers.

The results of proximate and chemical compositions of sun-dried ensiled H. annuus leaf indicated that the ensiling process of H. annus leaf possibly facilitated the breakdown of complex non - starch polysaccharides (NSPs) and subsequently increased the soluble carbohydrates. It is also conceivable that the fermentation process during ensiling of H. annus leaf must have contributed to the significant reduction of anti-nutrient composition of H. annus leaf. This reduction of the anti-nutritional factors such as phytin, tannin, oxalate, alkaloids and flavonoids in H. annus leaf when ensiled agreed with previous study (Fasuyi et al., 2010FASUYI, A.O., DAIRO, F.A.S. and IBITAYO, F.J., 2010. Ensiling wild sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) leaves with sugar cane molasses. Livestock Research for Rural Development, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 2010.).

The result of the egg quality indices were presented in Table 4. The normal avian egg consists of the shell, shell membrane, albumen, chalazae and yolk. The quality of the egg, its marketability and chances of hatchability are dependent on these factors added to the weight (Johnson et al., 1984JOHNSON, R.J., CHOICE, A., FARRELL, D.J. and CUMMING, R.B., 1984. Production responses of layers strain hens to feed restriction during rearing. British Poultry Science, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 369-387. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00071668408454878. PMid:6478281.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00071668408454...
). It is the most widely used research measure of albumen quality. Its value had proved to be more significantly correlated to quality measurements than any other (Ekweozor et al., 2002EKWEOZOR, I.K.E., GRANVILLE, A.W., NKANGA, E.E. and OGBALU, O.K., 2002. The effects of crude oil contaminated feeds on the yield and quality of eggs of poultry (Gallus domesticus). Journal of Agricultural Tropical and Subtropical, vol. 103, pp. 89-97.).

Table 4
Effects of graded Levels of MSFLM on egg quality of shaver brown layers.

The HU of the eggs from birds on all the treatments were comparable to those values obtained by Ahaotu and Agunanne (2017)AHAOTU, E.O. and AGUNANNE, U.T., 2017. Egg production pattern in Anthony Patience Farms, Atta-Ikeduru, Imo State, Nigeria: influences on the phase of production and the estimated period of oviposition. In: Proc. 6th ASAN-NIAS Joint Annual Meeting, 10-14 September 2017, Ibadan. Ibadan: The Animal Science Association of Nigeria, pp. 375-380.. The absence of significant changes in the values of yolk, shell weight, shell density, shell surface and egg weight showed that the test ingredient did not contain any material whose toxicity could impair these egg quality indices. Yolk colour was influenced by the inclusion of MSFLM in the diets. Birds on 10% and 15% MSFLM had highest values for yolk colour. This could result from the increase level of carotene and xanthophyll in the diets as the level of MSFLM increases. Carotene and xanthophyll are features of green feedstuffs that are responsible for the yolk colour. Egg length, egg breadth, shell thickness and percentage albumen showed significant (p< 0.05) difference in favor of birds place on control diet. All value obtained for these parameters fell within the range obtained by Ahaotu and Agunanne (2017)AHAOTU, E.O. and AGUNANNE, U.T., 2017. Egg production pattern in Anthony Patience Farms, Atta-Ikeduru, Imo State, Nigeria: influences on the phase of production and the estimated period of oviposition. In: Proc. 6th ASAN-NIAS Joint Annual Meeting, 10-14 September 2017, Ibadan. Ibadan: The Animal Science Association of Nigeria, pp. 375-380..

As conclusion, the Mexican sunflower leaf meal as an alternative feed ingredient in shaver brown layer egg production is yet to be popularized despite the abundance of the material in various parts of the country. Its use up to 15% gave performance that was comparable with the control diet. Yolk colour of the shaver brown layers egg was influenced by the carotene and xanthophyll content of the sunflower leaf meal.

A remarkable improvement in the consumption and utilization of ensiled MSFLM when fed to pullets could have been occasioned by the activities of anaerobic, facultative and aerobic micro-organisms responsible for the degradation of the complex fibrous and other anti-nutritional compounds naturally present in MSFLM. The inclusion level of MSFLM can be further enhanced when ensiled and this could replace other conventional protein ingredients appreciably at levels of about 15% in layers rations. There is no doubt that ensiling H. annuus leaves before shadow drying into H. annuus leaf meal (MSFLM) had beneficial nutritional quality as manifested in the investigated performance characteristics in this present study.

Acknowledgements

The present study was founded by project MECESUP UCT 0804 and the authors express their gratitude to M.I. and S.M.A. for their valuable comments for improve the manuscript.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    11 Feb 2022
  • Date of issue
    2024

History

  • Received
    03 June 2021
  • Accepted
    03 Aug 2021
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