Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Graded Levels of Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) on the Performance, Carcass and Organ Weights of Broilers Chickens

B. B. Okafor, G. A. Kalio

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/33949

A 56 - day study to determine the effects of graded levels of cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) on performance, carcass and organ weights of broiler chickens was conducted. Two hundred and forty day old Marshall Broiler chickens were weighed and randomly placed into twelve pens in a completely randomized design. There were four treatment groups and three replicates for each treatment. Sixty birds were allotted to each treatment group. Treatment A contained 0% of vitamin D(control) in the broiler vitamin/ trace mineral premix used to formulate the experimental broiler starter and finisher diets. Treatments B, C and D contained 40%, 80% and 100% inclusion of vitamin D3 respectively. The birds were weighed weekly to determine weight gains. Daily feed consumption was taken and feed conversion ratio determined weekly. At the end of the 56-day performance study, six birds per treatment of two per replicate were slaughtered, defeathered and eviscerated to determine dressed carcass and organ weights (liver, gall bladder, gizzard, spleen and heart). Body weight gains and feed conversion ratio were not significantly (P > 0.05) different.  However there was a significant (P < 0.05) difference in the weight of the gizzards at the 80% and 100% inclusion levels. Birds fed 100% inclusion levels of vitamin D3 in their diet had the highest carcass weight. It was concluded that the inclusion of 100% vitamin Din the broiler vitamin/ trace mineral premix as formulated and recommended by the manufacturers for broiler rations was adequate.


Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Integrating Chickpea and Organic Amendments on Yield and Quality Attributes of Tomato and Maize in Central Kenya

O. H. Ndukhu, N. R. Onwonga, G. R. Wahome, G. Kironch, H. H. Jensen

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-22
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/16202

A study was carried out to evaluate the effect of integrating chickpea on yield and quality attributes of tomatoes and maize under varying supply levels of farm yard manure (FYM) and phosphate rock (PR). The study was conducted both on-farm (farmer’s field in Kiserian, Kajiado County) and on-station at Kabete Campus field station, University of Nairobi, Kenya. The experimental design was a randomized complete block (RCBD) with four replications in a split plot arrangement where the main plots were three cropping systems; monocropping, intercropping and crop rotation and the split plots were FYM and PR. Crop yields, nutrients and physical attributes increased in the different treatments in the following order control < MRP < FYM in the three cropping systems across the four growing seasons at both sites. Tomato in season four in rotations with chickpea at Kabete had; FYM: 3.65% N, 597 ppm P, 3.95 Mg ha-1 fruit yield and 1.554 t ha-1biomass, firm and >170g and 6cm. MRP: 3.09% N, 634 ppm P, 2.907 Mg ha-1 yield and 1.093 t ha-1 biomass, firm and >100 g and 3 cm. Control: 2.47% N, 533 ppm P, 2.149 Mg ha-1 fruit yield and 0.757 t ha-1, flaccid and <100 g and 3 cm. Monocrop gave; control: 2.17% N, 494 ppm P, 2.138 Mg ha-1 fruit yield and 0.697 t ha-1 biomass. FYM: 3.03% N, 587 ppm P, 3.59 Mg ha-1 fruit yield and 1.523 t ha-1 biomass. MRP: 2.56% N, 553 ppm P, 2.951 Mg ha-1 yield and 1.046 t ha-1 biomass. Similar trends were observed in maize and tomato performances in all the seasons at both sites. Thus it can be deduced that, FYM and MRP application and legume integration in cropping systems improve crop performance.


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Open Access Original Research Article

Cultivation of Pleurotus spp., as an Alternative Solution to Dispose Olive Waste

Funda Atila

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/36331

Disposal of olive press cake (OPC) produced during olive oil production is an important problem in Mediterranean Basin. The objective of this paper is to investigate effectively removing OPC by production of Pleurotus spp. In the study, four substrate formulations containing variable OPC concentration were tested for cultivation of Pleurotus spp and determined effect of these substrates on productivity of P. djamorP. eryngii and P. citrinopileatus species. Zero (0%), 25%, 50% and 75% portions of OPC were added to beech sawdust to prepare the growing substrates. It was observed that different portions of OPC affect spawn run time (day), time to first primordia initiation (day), time to first harvest (day), yield (g/kg) and biological efficiency (BE) of Pleurotus spp. No negative effect on mycelial growth of the three Pleurotus spp. was observed in any substrates during the spawn running period, but high concentration of OPC had a negative effect on earliness. On the other hand, 25 OPC and 50 OPC substrates showed higher biological efficiencies than the control substrate in all Pleurotus spp. Morever, the highest yield and BE were obtained in P. djamor grown on 75 OPC substrate. This study demostrated that high portions of OPC are promising as a substrate for P. djamor, P. citrinopileatus and P. eryngii cultivation and using OPC as a substrate in mushroom cultivation provides an eco-friendly method for disposing of OPC. 

Open Access Original Research Article

Food Security and Environmental Implications of Urban Wetlands Utilisation as Vegetable Gardens: The Case of Bamenda Municipality Cameroon

Godswill Azinwie Asongwe, Bernard P. K. Yerima, Aaron Suh Tening, Elizabeth Sailieh Mbomi

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/35496

Wetland agriculture brings significant benefits to food security, health and income. However, ill-considered development often leads to deleterious environmental impacts and harmful consequences to people’s livelihoods. This study using multi-criteria approach addresses possible environmental and food security hazards’ in vegetable gardens in urban wetlands of the Bamenda municipality, besides conflicts over access. It evaluates their ecological status, soil heavy metal loads, and their accumulation in vegetables. Twenty-one samples each of surface soils and Solanum scarbrum were collected from vegetable gardens in the municipality and analysed for their heavy metal (Cd, Pb, Cr, and Mn) content using the atomic absorption spectrometry. Theresults indicated that the wetlands of the municipality have been moderately modified with a loss and change of biota such as the Raffia fanifera. Pollution load indices varied considerably at the different sites, and ranged from unpolluted through slight pollution to medium pollution. The mean values of bioaccumulation factor (BAF) for Solanum scarbrum, stood at Cd>Mn>Pb>Cr, with respective values of 1.23, 1.14, 1.01, and 0.48, insignificantly higher (P>0.05) than those of the control sample. Cadmium is easily transferred in this vegetable than any other metal. The intake of Cd was estimated at 9E-7 mg, representing approximately 0.009% of the referenced dose (RfD), established to 0.001 mg kg–1. Due to the gradual degradation of wetlands in Bamenda and the urgent need to secure and improve people’s quality of life while simultaneously safeguarding the ecological benefits derived from the wetland, policy makers should integrate conservation and development in planning.


Open Access Original Research Article

Assessment of Heavy Metals Concentration in Shell and Fin Fish from Iko River Estuary, Southeastern Nigeria

N. O. Abiaobo, I. I. Akpan, S. I. Umana

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2017/35829

Heavy metals (HM) concentration in croaker (Pseudotolithus typus) and periwinkle (Tympanotonus fuscatus) from Iko River estuary, Southeastern Nigeria were carried out between June and December, 2015 using UNICAM 939 Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS).  The results in (mg/kg) showed different levels of Cd (cadmium), Cr (chromium), Cu (copper), Fe (iron), Pb (lead), Ni (nickel) and Zn (zinc) in croaker and periwinkle. The order of heavy metals accumulated by P. typus and T. fuscatus were Cu > Zn > Fe > Cd > Pb > Cr >Ni and Fe > Cu > Zn > Pb > Cd > Cr > Ni, respectively. The results showed that Cu and Fe recorded highest concentration in Croaker and periwinkle respectively while Ni concentration was least in both organisms. Both organisms bio-concentrated considerable levels of heavy metals, however, the bio-concentration of periwinkle was significantly higher than croaker. The concentration of Cd, Cu and Fe in both organisms were higher than the WHO/FEPA (World Health Organisation/ Federal Environmental Protection Agency) recommended MPL (maximum permissible limits), while the levels of Cr, Pb, and Ni  were below the standards and Zn concentration was within MPL. The results suggest that Iko River estuary has high pollution loads of these metals in fishes and could pose a health hazards to man. Consequently, close monitoring of heavy metal loads in this water body is recommended with a view to minimizing the risks to health of the population that depend on the river for their water and fish supply.