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   9. Digestibility and digestive organ development in indigenous and improved chickens and ducks fed diets with increasing inclusion levels of cassava leaf meal.

Authors: Khieu Borin, Lindberg, J.E. and Ogle, R.B., 2006.
Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 90 (5-6), 230-237
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Summary: A total of 400 day-old birds, including 100 each of local chickens (LC), broiler chickens (BC), local ducks (LD) and White Pekin ducks (PD), was obtained from a local commercial hatchery. At 90 days of age, 48 representative males from each species and breed were selected for the experiment. The mean initial live weights of the LC, BC, LD and PD were 1.00 ( 0.046), 2.79 ( 0.078), 1.17 ( 0.038) and 2.41 ( 0.073) kg, respectively. Replicates of four birds of the same species and breed were confined in cages made from metal nets and bars and aluminium sheets. Each cage had two feeders and one water trough placed between the feeders, and the cages were placed in an open-sided house with a grass roof.

Abstract: Growing indigenous Cambodian chickens and ducks, and broiler chickens and White Pekin ducks were fed diets containing 0%, 7%, 14% and 20% of cassava leaf meal (CLM) to study the effects of CLM level on diet digestibility and gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and organ development. The coefficient of total tract apparent digestibility (CTTAD) of dry matter (DM) and intake of digestible DM decreased with increased dietary CLM. DM and digestible DM intake was higher for local breeds than for the corresponding exotic breeds, and higher for ducks than for chickens (p < 0.001), although there were no species or breed effects on CTTAD of DM (p > 0.05). Weight of small intestine, caeca, gizzard and pancreas, expressed as per kg body weight, increased with increased CLM in the diet (p < 0.001). There was no consistent diet effect on liver weight. Length of small intestine and caeca, expressed on a mass-specific basis, increased with dietary CLM content (p < 0.001). When expressed as per kg body weight small intestine, proventriculus, gizzard, pancreas and liver weights, and small intestine length, were higher in ducks than in chickens (p < 0.001), and were higher in the indigenous than in the improved breeds (p < 0.01), except for small intestine weights, which were similar. However chickens had higher weight of caeca (p < 0.001) and colon (p < 0.01) in absolute units and per kg body weight.

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