EFFECTS OF PAWPAW (Carica papaya) LEAF MEAL ON NUTRIENT DIGESTIBILITY AND GROWTH PRFORMANCE OF JAPANESE QUAILS (Coturnix coturnix japonica)
A six (6) weeks feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of pawpaw (Carica papaya) leaf meal (PLM) on nutrient digestibility and growth performance of Japanese quails. A total of two hundred and seventy (270) Japanese quail birds were randomly allotted to five dietary treatments with three replicates of 18 birds each in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). Five experimental diets were formulated in which diet 1 served as control (0 % PLM), while diets 2, 3, 4 and 5 contained 5, 10, 15 and 20 % pawpaw leaf meal respectively. Water and feed were offered ad-libitum. Data collected on growth parameters and nutrient digestibility were subjected to analysis of variance using general linear model of SAS. The result showed that digestibility of dry matter was significantly (p<0.05) better (75.62%) in birds fed 5% PLM based diet when compared to other treatment groups (0, 10, 15, and 20 % PLM based diets) which were having similar percentage nutrient digestibility (70.94, 71.06, 71.14 and 70.96% respectively). Birds on 5% PLM based diet also had significantly (p<0.05) better final body weight (160.13 g/bird), daily weight gain (3.80 g/bird), daily feed intake (16.81 g/bird) and age at first egg (39 days) when compared to other treatment groups. However, the control group (0% PLM) had better feed conversion ratio (FCR) of 3.10 and feed cost per kg gain (N388.12) when compared to other treatments (5, 10, 15, and 20% PLM based diet) which were having 4.04, 4.12, 4.71, 5.09 FCR and N461.07, N492.74, N507.60, and N521.33 feed cost per kg gain respectively. It was concluded that inclusion of PLM at 5% is optimal for improved nutrient utilization and growth performance of Japanese quails.