Effect of cassava grits as maize replacement on carcass characteristics of two strains of broiler chickens
Carcass characteristics are measures of relative proportions of meat and bone, among others, of an animal’s carcass and dictate the acceptability by processors and consumers. Carcass characteristics of two strains of broiler chickens fed diets containing varying levels of cassava grits (CG) were determined using 120 (four-week-old) broiler chickens for each of Arbor Acre Plus (AAP) and Marshall (MS) Strains. The birds were randomly distributed into four dietary treatments of CG as replacement for maize (0, 20, 40, and 60 per cent) at finisher phase. Each treatment had three replicates. At the end of the feeding trial which lasted 28 days, four birds with weights close to the group average were selected per replicate, fasted for 24 hours, weighed, and sacrificed for carcass analysis. Data were collected on carcass characteristics and cut parts and analysed using ANOVA. Results showed that strain had no significant (p > 0.05) influence on carcass characteristics and cut parts parameters except (p < 0.05) relative plucked weight. Broilers fed 0 per cent CG inclusion recorded highest (p < 0.05) live weight (2103.75 g). CG levels had no significant (p > 0.05) influence on dressed weight and choice cuts (breast, thigh, and drumstick) of chickens. The study concluded that CG could be used to replace up to 60 per cent of maize in finishing diets for broiler chickens without negative effects on dressed weight and choice cuts.