HomeQSU Research Journalvol. 4 no. 1 (2015)


Carmela G. Blando



This study evaluated the growth performance and sensory characteristics of broilers as influenced by the varying levels of squash seed meal. A feeding trial was conducted using 120 day-old Minerva broiler chicks randomly distributed to four home mixed ration treatments with 0%, 2.5%, 5%, 7.5% squash seed meal in three replication. Results revealed that the different levels of squash seed meal in broiler ration significantly influenced body weight, gain in weight, rate of growth, feed conversion ratio, and feed conversion efficiency during the first week up to the third week of the study but not throughout the six-week feeding trial period. Weekly and cumulative fed consumption did not differ among experimental broilers fed with ration containing different levels of squash seed meal on the fourth to sixth week. Feed conversion ratio and feed conversion efficiency of the experimental broilers were comparable among the different treatment groups on the fourth to sixth week of the study. Dressing percentage with and without giblets did not differ significantly among broilers that were fed with different levels of squash seed meal (Cucurbita maxima). Similarly, records show that pancreas and liver weights of the experimental broilers did not differ among the different treatment groups, indicating no toxic substances and deleterious effects in feeding any of the levels of squash seed meal used in the study. Organoleptic analysis showed that supplementation of different levels of squash seed meal (C. maxima) in broiler ration has no significant influence on taste or flavour, tenderness, as well as aroma and juiciness of oven-cooked broiler meat samples. Panelists rated the sensory characteristics of meat samples from broilers fed with the control diet an acceptability rating of like very much. Highest return above feed costs were obtained from sales of broilers fed with 7.5% squash seed meal ration while the lowest returns were derived from broilers fed with the control (0% squash seed meal) ration. The results imply that the 7.5% squash seed meal supplementation in broiler ration produces higher return above feed costs thus giving economic benefit to prospective local broiler growers.