The influence of bedding material and collecting period on the feeding value of broiler and layer litter
Jordaan, Jacobus Daniël
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Guidelines for poultry production enterprises to increase the efficiency of broiler production and optimize the nutritional value of poultry litter and manure for use in ruminant nutrition is urgently needed. Therefore a study was conducted to investigate the effect of wood shaving (SA), wheat straw (WS), peanut hulls (PH) and sunflower hulls (SH) as bedding materials on the performance of broilers in conventional floor systems. In a second study the effect of different types of bedding materials and collecting periods on the feeding value of respectively broiler and layer hen manure for ruminants were investigated. Six hundred, day old Ross -1-broilers were randomly divided into 30 groups of 20 each. Six groups (replications) were then randomly allocated to one of the following five treatments: 1. Wood shavings and saw dust (Byproduct Development Services, 0.5 to 5 cm) 2. Peanut hulls 3. Sunflower hulls 4. Wheat straw (ground through a 30 mm sieve) 5. Control group (cement floor) Commercial broiler diets were fed ad lib. to all experimental groups. On the basis of weight of water absorbed per weight of bedding material, WS absorbed significantly more water than PH, SA or SH. No significant (P>0.05) differences in the percentage moisture release of different bedding materials occurred. Accordingly no significant differences in ammonia production, feed intake, weight gain, efficiency of feed conversion, carcass weight and dressing percentage of broilers were detected among the various treatments. The highest production number (weighted sum of average weight, percent livability, period and feed conversion) was calculated for broilers on peanut hulls, followed by no bedding material (control), wood shavings, sunflower hulls and lastly wheat straw. It was calculated that a broiler excreted approximately 878g dry matter in a 42 day period. The highest (P<0.05) crude protein content occurred in the manure of broilers raised on no bedding material followed by the peanut hulls treatment. No significant differences (P>0.05) occurred in the crude protein content of manure from the wood shavings and wheat straw treatments. Bedding materials in broiler litter did not influence effective degradability of crude protein statistically significant. The highest (P<0.05) acid detergent fibre content was recorded for wood shavings and the lowest for the control treatment, while the rest showed no significant differences. No significant differences occurred in the neutral detergent fibre (NDF) content of broiler litter gathered on the different bedding materials. The lowest (P<0.05) NDF content was again found where no bedding material was supplied. No significant differences occurred in the fat content of broiler litter originating from the different treatments. The highest (P<0.05) ash content and in vitro digestibility was in the pure excretion and the lowest in broiler litter containing wood shavings. There were no significant differences amongst the remaining treatments. Bedding material had no significant (P>0.05) influence on the mineral content of broiler litter. In an effort to investigate the effect of composting time (collecting period) on the feeding value of layer hen manure, ninety, 20 week old White Plymouth Rock layer hens were then randomly divided into 30 groups of 3 each. The 30 groups were then randomly allocated to 5 treatments. The manure of each treatment was respectively collected daily and after 14, 28, 42 and 56 days. All the layers received a commercial layer diet ad lib. The collection of layer manure after 56 days resulted in a significant (P<0.05) reduction in crude protein content, degradability and in vitro digestibility. No clear trend or influence of composting time on the ADF and NDF content of layer manure could be detected. Composting time had no influence on the fat content of layer manure. The ash content of layer manure increased significantly (P<0.05) with a delaying collecting period. Delaying of collecting time resulted in an increase in the percentage of Na, Ca, K, Mg, P and Cu of layer manure. No significant (P>0.05) influence of composting time on the concentrations of Fe, Zn and Mn was observed. It was concluded from the performance of the broilers on the different bedding materials and the nutritive value of the broiler litter that peanut hulls should be preferred as bedding material. SH should be the second choice followed by WS. Lastly it seems that layer manure should be collected on a regular basis and that the composting time should not exceed 42 days.