Cocoa pod husk (CPH) is a waste, constituting serious disposal problems on all cocoa farms in Nigeria. The use of CPH in feeding poultry may alleviate the problem of high cost of feed ingredients which has occasioned the reduction in the rate of expansion of the poultry industry in Nigeria, as revealed by previous station trials. Hence, this study focused on the comparison of the effect of CPH based and farmers’ layers’ mashes on the egg quality of laying hens.
A total of four hundred and ninety five, 3-month-in-lay birds were used for this on-farm trial. The birds were randomly distributed into 5 treatments replicated thrice with each treatment containing 99 layers, in a completely randomized design. These treatments were: 000 (Eggs from Control diet), 00A (Eggs from Farmer’s feed 1), 00B (Eggs from Farmer’s feed 2), 00C (Eggs from Farmer’s feed 3), 00D (Eggs from Farmer’s feed 4), 00E (Eggs from Farmer’s feed 5). Each feed was fed ad libitum to the laying chickens. This trial lasted eight weeks. The parameters measured included: egg weight, EW; egg length, EL; shell thickness, ST; shell weight, SW; yolk height, YH; yolk width, YW; albumin weight, AW; yolk colour score, YCS; yolk index, YI; and shell surface area, SSA.
Eggs on layers mash OOB, was not significantly different (p<.O5) from OOA in all parameters studied, whereas significant differences (p<.05) occurred in other treatments as compared to the control. The overall ranking of the assessed feeds as revealed by the egg quality parameters studied was: OOA>OOB>OOD>OOF>OOE>OOC. The results revealed that feeding cocoa pod husk-based layer’s mash considerably improved egg quality of laying hens.