Growth Performance, Shank Pigmentation and Blood Profile of Broiler Chickens Fed Neem Leaf Meal-Based Diets ( Vol-3,Issue-2,March - April 2018 )
Author: Akintomide Aanuoluwapo Adeyemi, Onibi Gbenga Emmanuel
Keyword: Neem leaves, Natural colourants, Broiler production, Poultry feed.
Abstract: The many benefits of all parts of neem (Azadirachta indica) tree are well documented. Thus, this study was done to ascertain the effects of sundried neem leaf meal (NLM) on growth performance, shank pigmentation and blood profile of broiler chickens. One hundred and forty four day-old chicks were randomly distributed after 1 week pre-experimental period to four experimental diets which comprised NLM at 0% (control), 5% (5NLM), 10% (10NLM) and 15% (15NLM). A completely randomized design was adopted with 12 birds per replicate and 3 replicates per treatment. Feed and water were given ad-libitum and other management practices were carried out. Initial weight of chicks and final weights at the end of the starter and finisher phases were taken. Feed intake was measured weekly and feed conversion ratio (FCR) calculated. Shank pigmentation was assessed from 3 birds/ replicate at the end of the trial. Blood samples were collected from 3 birds/ replicate at the end of the starter and finisher phases. For the starter phase, final weight, total weight gain and FCR were significantly influenced by NLM inclusion. Chicks fed control and 5NLM diets had similar higher values than others. Blood parameters were not significant except basophil values. At the finisher phase, total weight gain and FCR were not significantly different although feed intake significantly reduced with inclusion of NLM in the diets. Blood parameters were not significant except lymphocyte values. There was a non-significant increase in shank pigmentation with increase in NLM inclusion. It is concluded that NLM inclusion in broiler diets at both phases should not exceed 5% based on growth performance. Neem leaf meal increased yellow colouration of shank and was not harmful to broiler blood parameters.
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