Performance and Haematology of Broiler Starter Birds Fed Graded Levels of Gongronema latifolium (Utazi) Leaf Extract
Isaac Osakwe, Bridget Nwachukwu, Ifeoma Nnamani
Ebonyi State University, Dept. of Animal Science, Nigeria
The use of ethno-pharmacological plants as growth promoters in livestock has become necessary as a result of the problems of resistant strains and residue from antibiotic growth promoters. Gongronema latifolium has shown both bacteriocidal and bacteriostatic effects on microorganisms and this has necessitated the intention to investigate the effect of G. latifolium extract on growth performance and haematology of broiler birds. Ninety six Agrited day-old broiler chicks were randomly assigned to four treatment groups of 24 birds, each replicated three times with 8 birds per replicate in a completely randomised design. The groups were fed four diets. Diet 1 (T1) contained no G. latifolium and served as the control. Diets 2, 3 and 4 (designated T2, T3 and T4, respectively) contained 10 ml, 20 ml and 30 ml, respectively of G. latifolium extract. The extract was produced by dissolving 100 g of the dried and milled G. latifolium leaf in one litre of water. Thereafter 10 ml, 20 ml, and 30 ml, respectively, were decanted and dissolved in one litre of water for the various treatments. Feed and water were offered ad-libitum and data were collected on growth and haematological indices. Results showed that there were significant (p<0.05) differences in weight gain and feed intake and no difference (p>0.05) in haematological parameters. Birds fed T2 (10 ml) and T4 (30 ml) gained more (p<0.05) weight (29.8 g/d) and (29.2 g/d), respectively than birds on the control diet (27.4 g/d). Similarly, birds fed T4 consumed more (p<0.05) feed (54.4 g/d) than birds on the control and T2 diets (47.7 g/d) and (50.9 g/d), respectively. There were no significant (p>0.05) differences in feed conversion ratio, water intake and blood parameters measured. These results showed that 10 ml extract of G. latifolium enhanced growth performance of broiler starter birds without any adverse effects on their blood chemistry.
Keywords: Broiler starter, Gongronema latifolium, growth, hematology
Contact Address: Isaac Osakwe, Ebonyi State University, Dept. of Animal Science, 22 Leach Road, PMB 053 Abakaliki, Nigeria, e-mail: osakwe_iyahoo.com