Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 March 2009
Two experiments done at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, in 1992/93 investigated the effects of dietary levels of thevetia cake on the performance and nutrient retention of broilers. In Expt 1, dayold broiler chicks were fed either a control diet or diets containing 5, 10 or 15% thevetia cake during a 4-week period. In Expt 2, day-old broiler chicks were fed a standard diet until 4 weeks of age and were then switched to diets containing 0, 5, 10 or 15% thevetia cake. Inclusion of thevetia cake in broiler diets, irrespective of level of inclusion, drastically reduced feed intake and weight gain (p < 0·01) at both the starter and finisher stages. Dietary thevetia cake also caused a significant increase in mortality rate (P < 0·01). There was a reduction in protein and fibre retention and dietary ME with increases in the dietary level of thevetia cake at both the starter and finisher stages (P < 0·05). It is concluded that thevetia cake is toxic to broilers and needs further processing before it can effectively be used as an ingredient in broiler feed.