Studies on the Nutritive Evaluation of Pigeon Peas (Cajanus Cajan) as a Protein Supplement in Broiler Starter Feeds
Studies were conducted to evaluate the nutritional quality and acceptability of pigeon peas (Cajanus cajan) as a protein supplement in chick feeds. Raw pigeon peas were included in starter diets at levels of 0, 10, 15 and 20 percent of the diet. Feeding diets containing 10 or 15 percent raw pigeon peas to chicks from hatching up to five weeks produced no adverse effects on growth and feed efficiency. However, the inclusion of 20 percent pigeon peas reduced growth and feed efficiency by 8.50 and 3.25 percent respectively, thus indicating the presence of some nutritional limitations in the pigeon peas. There was a notable increase in the pancreas weight as the level of raw picoc*. peas in the diets was increased, suggesting the presence of protease inhibitors in the pigeon peas. In an attempt to overcome the effect cf the protease inhibitors, the pigeon peas were subjected to wet thermal processing. The peas were autoclaved at 121°C, and 1.05 2 kg/cm pressure for 15 or 30 minutes, or were steamed for 30 minutes. Feeding the raw or the variously heat-treated pigeon peas at the 20 percent level irt chick diets produced no significant differences in growth rates, feed efficiency or pancreas size.
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