Potential of dried cassava pulp as an alternative energy source for laying hens

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Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the potential use of dried cassava pulp (DCP) with reference to productive performance, nutrient digestibility, egg quality, egg yolk cholesterol, cecal microbial populations, and volatile fatty acids production in laying hens. In experiment 1, a total of 48 laying hens (Isa Brown) were placed in individual cages and assigned randomly to one of 6 dietary treatment groups consisting of a control and 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25% DCP for 10 d. Feeding laying hens with diets containing up to 20% DCP did not affect the dry matter (DM) and organic matter (OM) digestibility and nitrogen (N) retention (P > 0.05). In experiment 2, a total of 288 laying hens (Isa Brown) were randomly distributed to 6 dietary groups (one control and 5 DCP: 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25%) for 12 wk. The results show that diets containing up to 20% DCP had no significant effects on productive performance or egg quality (P > 0.05). The inclusion of DCP at levels of 20 to 25% showed a positive effect on decreased egg yolk cholesterol (P < 0.05). In addition, DCP also increased the cecal Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium populations, acetic acid, and propionic acid production. In conclusion, DCP can be used as part of the energy source in laying hen diets at up to 20% inclusion, without showing negative effects on productive performance, nutrient digestibility, and egg quality. Feeding DCP can potentially modulate egg yolk cholesterol and cecal microbial populations and alter volatile fatty acids production.

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