Cereals are a major source of human food, hence their use as livestock feed causes competition and shortage leading to increased prices. Consequently, it is essential to explore alternative feed resources that are locally available and affordable. Prosopis juliflora pods is among the alternative feed resources identified in Kenya. It is locally referred to as ‘Mathenge’. Crude fiber is high in Prosopis juliflora pods. The soluble fiber increases the viscosity of the intestinal digesta therefore making it difficult for the chyme to mix thoroughly with enzymes for purpose of digestion and absorption of nutrients. This is because of lack of indigenous non starch hydrolyzing enzymes in the gut of poultry. Non convectional feed resources like Prosopis juliflora pods can be used to feed livestock and reduce competition with humans on cereals and hence ensure a food secure society. Utilization of Prosopis juliflora pods by making poultry feeds will reduce the invasion by the tree in arid and semi-arid areas. The objectives were to determine the nutrient composition of ‘mathenge’ compared to maize with emphasis on fiber, minerals and energy and also look at the feed intake and egg production of feeds compounded with up to 50% ‘mathenge’ substituting maize. Proximate analysis and gross energy determination was done at Egerton University while minerals were determined at Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization laboratory at Njoro. The metabolizable energy and crude fiber was 11.34 MJ/kg DM and 3.52 for maize and 15.52 Mj/kg DM and 22.29 for Prosopis juliflora pods. Feed containing 0, 20, 30, 40, and 50% Prosopis juliflora pods substituting maize were fed to indigenous layer for 12 weeks. Results indicated that the increased inclusion of Prosopis juliflora, up to 50% of maize was beneficial in terms of egg and meat production.
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RUFORUM Working document series