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Golden Apple Snails As Animal Feed For Filipino Farmers

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The Philippine native chicken has been the main source of meat and eggs for Filipino farmers (World Poultry, 2000 in Dusaran&Cabarles, 2005). Its unequaled ability to produce meat and eggs under minimal management, intervention and inputs has led to its large population and popularity. The role of indigenous chicken in Philippine agriculture and the entire economy is well assimilated. It will, to a large extent, remain a significant contributor to the continuous supply of meat and eggs and extra income for many rural Filipino farmers. Its meat is highly preferred by many Filipino consumers because of its distinct taste, leanness, and pigmentation. More than 60% of the total inventory of chicken in the Philippines as of 1996 consists of the pure native and upgraded native chicken which are mostly raised under backyard condition (Lambio, Bondoc, &Grecia, 1996 as cited in Dusaran&Cabarles, 2005).

Pomacea canaliculata and Pomacea maculate, commonly known as Golden Apple Snails, are highly invasive and cause damage to rice crops. They were acquainted to Asia, from South America, in the 1980’s as potential food for people, but it unfortunately becomes a major pest of rice. The golden apple snail will be collected in the rice field at Talisayan, Zamboanga City. The golden apple snail is deliberated a major problem of rice. If no control measure is taken, they can completely annihilate 1 m2 of field overnight. This damage could lead to more than 50% yield loss.

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Its elimination in the ecosystems is insolvable. To use them as animal feed is much better discretion for their control and more environmentally friendly than the use of chemicals. (Serra, A.B., 1997)Feeding related problem is another problem we need to reckon as this determines the growth of rate of our birds. Feeding is more than just given the birds feed; they need balanced diets if you want them to do well. Some producers mix complete feeds with cheaper scratch grains, but doing so dilutes the levels of nutrients the chickens are receiving, and nutrient deficiencies can occur. Nutrient deficiencies can inimical affect the growth of pullets and the level of production of hens.

Native chickens need integral nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins, and water to survive, grow, and reproduce, but in cases where feed resources on range are not enough, raisers can do supplemental feeding. Supplemental feeding intents to reduce feed cost to 50% by substituting part of commercial feed with farm-mixed ration. Supplemental feeding is normally done in the morning and in the afternoon for the birds to develop their homing instinct. It also amplify nutrients from natural feeds to promote optimum performance. A range area of at least 2 m2 per bird is recommended for free range area.

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