The study investigate the effect of dietary inclusion of different levels of palm oil on the growth performance, feed consumption and meat yield characteristics of broiler. A total of 300 day old Hubbard classic broiler chicks were randomly allocated to 5 treatments containing 0, 2, 3, 4 and 5% palm oil with three replications having 20 broilers in each for a period of 35 days. Significantly (P<0.05) higher live weight was found in birds of 4% dietary palm oil supplemented group compared to those of 5% oil group and control group and non-significantly higher than those of the other groups at 2nd, 3rd and 4th weeks of the experiment. Broilers fed on 2, 3 and 4% palm oil gained non-significantly higher cumulative weight than control and 5% oil group. Significant (p<0.01, p<0.05) differences in feed consumption of broilers of different groups were observed at 2nd and 4th weeks of the experiment where 5% oil supplemented group showed the lowest and 4% oil group showed the highest intake of feed. The overall trend of feed intake throughout the experimental period was increased with the increasing level of palm oil supplementation up to 4%. Palm oil had no significant effect on meat yield characteristics except gizzard, wing meat and dark meat which were significantly (p<0.05) affected. However, the total meat yields of birds were the highest at 3% level of palm oil and the lowest at 5% level. Dark meat and wing meat of 3% oil group were significantly (p<0.05) higher than those of the other groups. The gizzard weight was significantly (p<0.01) and progressively decreased due to palm oil supplementation.
Key words: Broiler, palm oil, feed consumption, live weight, meat yield.
Introduction Success of livestock industry is dependent on feeding and management, and many researchers have opined that the feed account for about 60-70% of the total cost of livestock production (Ranjhnan, 2001). The growth of livestock industry in Bangladesh is not satisfactory, only exception is poultry industry, yet per capita meat consumption is very low, about 21g per head per day. This is about 17.5% of the recommended amount of 120g per head per day (National livestock development policy, 2007). The best logical solution to our national meat scarcity is to increase poultry production. Poultry meat has a wide acceptance with little or no limitation in terms of tradition and religious taboos as compared to pork which is rejected by muslims (Afolabi and oladimeji, 2003) or beef which is rejected by hindu. Use of fats as animal feed has many advantages. It is a concentrated source of energy and the prior means of increasing the energy content of diets. Several experiments have shown that an increase in energy concentration produces a decrease in feed intake but does not negatively affect daily gain, resulting in an improvement in feed efficiency (Scaife et al., 1994). Other benefits of fat addition include: increased rate of gain, which can decrease age at market, decreased feed intake, a source of essential fatty acid, decreased dustiness of feeds, lubricant for equipment in feed mills, lower heat increment during heat stress keeps caloric intake up, may slow gut transit of other feeds, resulting in increased digestibility. A number of different sources of fat are available for poultry feeding from the vegetable sources and the rendering industry. Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the fruit of the Arecaceae elaeis oil palm tree. It has been the second-most widely produced (28 million tonnes) edible oil, after soybean oil in 2004 (USDA, 2004). It may have now surpassed soybean oil as the most widely produced vegetable oil in the world. Not only palm oil is useful in many ways but also cheaper in price than soybean oil which is very expensive now-a-days. So the use of