Poultry Waste in Cattle Rations

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Odhuba, E.K
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Conventionally, poultry waste is used as a Fertilizer mainly to supply nitrogen to the soil. However, economic studies by Smith and Wheeler (1979) have indicated that the nitrogen is utilized up to ten times more efficiently when recycled through ruminant animals as a feed compared to its use as a fertilizer. The waste can be either broiler litter, layer litter or caged layer Material. Whatever the form, it is rich in nitrogen, Averaging 28 per cent crude protein (CP), half of which is true protein and the remaining Part is mostly uric acid and ammonia both of which are non-protein nitrogen (NPN) materials (Bhattacharya and Taylor, 1975). Ruminant Animals, by virtue of their possession of microorganisms in the rumen, have the unique ability of utilizing uric acid and other forms of NPNContained in poultry waste to make their body Protein. The uric acid is slowly broken down in the rumen resulting in a more efficient utilization of nitrogen with minimal risks of toxicity (Oltjenet al., 1968). The rumen micro-organisms also degrade cellulosic materials used as bedding and Contained in poultry waste. The latter often includes varying proportions of high quality Spilled chicken feed which may contribute significantly to the feeding value of the waste. Besides, the material has high levels of calcium and Phosphorus and can be an important source of Energy (Bhattacharya and Fontenot, 1966).
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, LII (No 1), p. 16-21