Can avocado meal replace maize meal in broiler diets?

Author: J.B.J. van Ryssen, A. Skenjana & W.A. van Niekerk
Year: 2013
Issue: 1
Volume: 6
Page: 22 - 27

After the oil has been extracted from avocado fruits that were unsuitable for the fresh fruit market, a product, avocado meal (AM), remains as a waste product, and this product is causing a disposal problem for fruit distributers. An investigation was conducted to establish if AM could be used as a feed ingredient for livestock. In this study, AM substituted 0%, 10%, 20%, 30% and 40% of the maize which constituted 68% and 75% of a broiler diet at the different feeding stages. On average AM constituted 0%, 7.3%, 14.7%, 22.0% and 29.3% of the total diet in the respective treatments. At two weeks of age 400 broilers were allocated to the five treatments, each treatment consisting of four replications of 20 birds. As the level of AM in the diet increased, feed intake, average daily gain and feed conversion efficiency (FCE, g weight/kg feed) decreased linearly (significantly). At 42 days of age (28 days on the experimental diets) the final weight and FCE of the birds on the 0% AM diet were 1987 g and 517, respectively, compared to 1001 g and 273 on the 29.3% AM diet. It was concluded that antinutritional substances in AM such as high levels of condensed tannin and crude fibre probably contributed to the poor performance of the birds. Though not tested in the trial, the toxicant, persin, that is present in some varieties of avocado plants, might have contributed to the poor performance. Further investigations are required to establish the cause(s) of the poor performance of the broilers consuming AM, and whether it can be overcome and treated or not. However, from the current study it is concluded that AM is not suitable as a feed ingredient in poultry diets.

Keywords: persin
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