Economic results of the use of Tithonia diversifolia fodder meal in the diet of different poultry categories
The present study evaluated economically the use of tithonia (Tithonia diversifolia) forage meal in the diets of broilers; layers replacements and laying hens, as a partial replacement of corn and soybean meals. The data used come from feeding experiments carried out between 2018–2021 at the Cuban Institute of Animal Science. The direct costs involved in establishing this crop and making the meal were considered. The total feeding costs, and costs per animal, per kg of gain, per ton of live weight produced, per kg of eggs and per 1,000 eggs were estimated for the different treatments (Control 0%; T1-5%; T2-10%; T3-15% and T4-20% of tithonia meal in the ration). In all cases, feeding costs decreased with the greater use of tithonia meal. The best results in feeding costs reductions per kilogram of live weight gain for broilers (7 to 42 days) were obtained with T3 (14.78%); for layer replacements (weeks 9 to 18) with T4 (20.94% per animal); and with T3 in laying hens (weeks 23 to 44), with a 19.34% decrease in costs per thousand eggs produced. It has been demonstrated that the inclusion of tithonia forage meal in the diet of these species, as partial replacement of corn and soybean meals, constitutes a viable productive and economic alternative, which could contribute to reduce the importation of traditional and highly expensive feed ingredients.