Aims: The experiment was conducted to determine the response of albino rats to diets containing three differently processed false yam seed meals.
Study Design: Completely Randomized Design (CRD) was used for the study.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Agricultural Engineering, Bolgatanga Polytechnic, Bolgatanga. The experiment lasted for four weeks.
Methodology: Sixteen individually-housed, albino rats (8 males and 8 females) were allotted to four dietary treatments labelled, Control (Maize-based diet), Boiled False Yam Seed Meal (BFSM), Roasted False Yam Seed Meal (RFSM) and Soaked False Yam Seed Meal (SFSM). Each treatment was replicated four times, with a rat representing a replicate. Feed and water were offered ad-libitum and growth performance was monitored for four weeks. The data were analyzed using the General Analysis of Variance with Duncan Multiple Range Test used to separate treatment means.
Results: The average total feed intake values were significant (P =.05). The values obtained were 340.00, 240.00, 242.00 and 341.00 g for Control, BFSM, RFSM and SFSM diets respectively. The rats fed the Control and SFSM diets significantly performed better than their counterparts fed the other diets (BFSM and RSFM) in terms of average daily feed intake and average daily weight gain. The final weight values were 141.30 g (Control), 105.00 g (BFSM), 89.30 g (RSFM) and 139.00 g (SFSM). The mean weights of the full stomach (Control=2.30, BFSM=2.69, RSFM=2.58 and SFSM=3.33 g), empty stomach (Control=0.95, BFSM=0.92, RSFM=1.12 and SFSM=1.17 g), full GIT (Control=16.00, BFSM=13.30, RSFM=11.40 and SFSM=15.20 g) empty GIT (Control=6.67, BFSM=4.94, RSFM=4.33 and SFSM=5.21 g), heart (Control=0.58, BFSM=0.44, RSFM=0.38 and SFSM=0.59 g), spleen (Control=0.61, BFSM=0.50, RSFM=0.44 and SFSM=0.61 g) and viscera (Control=24.50, BFSM=19.70, RSFM=15.50 and SFSM=20.90 g) were not significantly influenced by the dietary treatments. However, the weights of kidney and the liver were statistically different (P=.05) as rats on Control recorded the heaviest kidney (1.25 g) and liver (5.38 g), while rats on RFSM recorded the lightest kidney (0.83 g) and liver (3.31 g).
Conclusion: It was concluded that soaking is an effective method of processing false yam seeds and that, farmers could use false yam seeds as an alternative and cheaper feedstuff in diets of monogastric animals.