In Vitro Gas Production Tests on Irradiated-Chicken Feathers to Estimate its Nutritive Value for Ruminants


Custer C. Deocaris, Azucena C. De Vera, Marivic M. Ellana and Celia O. Asaad

1Nuclear Biotechnology Laboratory, Philippine Nuclear Research Insitute,
Commonwealth Ave., Diliman, Quezon City
2Parañaque Science High School, Annex Parañaque National High School,
Dr. A. Santos Ave., San Dionisio, Parañaque

corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Chicken feathers are a highly abundant agro-waste product containing high amounts of protein from keratin. However, these are not practically utilized as animal feeds since they provide little, if any, nutritional value due to low digestibility in its natural state. Using an in vitro fermentation approach, the ruminant feed potential of chicken feathers treated with gamma-radiation was estimated. Gas production within an incubation period of 96 hours was monitored and values were fitted in the rumen degradability model by McDonald and Orskov (1981). Radiation treatment which could induce depolymerization of chicken feather keratin allowed for the improvement in the nutritive value for ruminants by liberating an additional 7.2% in metabolizable energy (ME) (P<0.005) for ruminant livestock. However, increasing the absorbed dose to 50 kGy resulted in significantly lower energy value for the feather substrate possibility accrued from the induced protein-protein cross-linking phenomenon.



In the Philippines, the ruminant livestock productivity is low due to poor nutrition caused by inadequate supply of good quality feed. The situation is worsened by the fact that smallholder farmers have limited quality roughage in their locale available for feeding their ruminant livestock all year round. Unlike in developed countries, farmers here are also unable to select their basal diet according . . . . .





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