M. Simeamelak, T. Taye, D. Solomon
Rhode Island Red (RIR) breed of chickens are reported to be capable of acclimatization to the Ethiopian rural production environment. However, there have been serious complaints that the reproduction performance of RIR breeds of chicken is low. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of Effective Micro-organisms (EM) on reproduction performance of Rhode Island Red (RIR) layers. A total of 96 RIR pullets of 16 weeks old were divided into 8 groups, each with 12 pullets. These were randomly assigned to 4 treatments containing 0, 4, 8 and 12 ml of EM/liter of drinking water in completely randomized design with 2 replications for a study period of 22 weeks. Feed consumption, feed conversion efficiency, egg production, egg quality, fertility, and hatchability were used as evaluation parameters. The results obtained showed that there was no significant difference among all the treatment groups in feed consumption, sexual maturity, survival rate and feed conversion efficiency (P>0.05) to an age of pullets, whereas the mean body weight gain of the groups of 24 weeks placed on the treatment containing 8 to 12 ml of EM/liter of drinking water were significantly (P0.05) difference between all the treatment groups of layers in feed consumption, fertility and hatchability (P<0.05) to an age of 37 weeks. On the other side, the mean weekly egg production and feed conversion efficiency during the laying period were significantly higher (P<0.05) for the groups of layers placed on the treatment containing 4 to 12 ml of EM/liter of drinking water compared to that of the groups placed on the control treatments. In summary, the results of this study showed that inclusion of 4 to 12 ml of EM/liter of drinking water resulted in significant improvement in survival and growth rate, egg production, feed conversion efficiency and egg quality parameters. Extending EM technology to indigenous chickens could be the future direction of research.
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