Reproductive and Growth Traits of Parents and F1 Hatchlings of Achatina achatina (L) Snails under Mixed Feeding Regime with Graded Levels of Swamp Taro Cocoyam (Cyrtosperma chamissonis) and Paw paw leaves (Carica papaya)

  •  Okon B.    
  •  Ibom L. A.    
  •  Nsa E. E.    
  •  Ubua J. A.    


Achatina achatina snails were raised on mixed feeding regime of forage and diets containing graded levels of sun-dried swamp taro cocoyam (Cytosperma chamissonis) meal to assess the parent snails’ reproductive traits and the growth performance of their juveniles. Ninety parent snails, forty-five (45) each of the black-skinned (BS) and white-skinned (WS) ectotypes weighing 50.75 to 62.50 g and 48.40 to 60.75 g respectively constituted the mating groups [black-skinned x black-skinned (BS X BS), white-skinned x white-skinned (WS X WS) and black-skinned x white-skinned (BS X WS)] studied. Snails in each mating group were randomly allocated to five diets containing different levels of the test ingredient. Results of the reproductive traits of the study showed that inclusion of cocoyam above 50% had negative effects. The results revealed that snails on the control diet (without cocoyam meal) consistently performed better than those on diets containing the test ingredient. Snails on the control diet had higher mean clutch size value while those on 100% inclusion level of test ingredient recorded the least mean clutch size value across the mating groups. The incubation period of eggs laid by snails on control diet was lower than those on diets containing test ingredient inclusion. Eggs hatchability and hatchlings weights decreased with increasing levels of test ingredient inclusion. Results of growth traits of hatchlings showed that there was decreasing growth rate with increasing levels of test inclusion. However, snails on diets containing between 25% and 50% test ingredient inclusion compared favourably with those on control diet in terms of weight gain, final body weight, feed intake, feed conversion ratio and percent mortality across the mating groups. Based on the results of this study, it is recommended that sun-dried taro cocoyam meal can replace maize up to 50% in the diet of A. achatina without detrimental effects on reproductive traits of parents and growth traits of the F1. We however suggest that other methods of processing be applied to the cocoyam to allow for higher inclusion levels.

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