Growth and hypocholesterolemic properties of dry garlic powder (Allium sativum) on broilers
A total of 160 day-old Anak broilers were used in an eight-week trial to evaluate the growth and hypocholesterolemic properties of garlic (Allium sativum) when fed at varying dietary levels to broilers. The 160 birds were assigned to four dietary treatments containing 0, 0.25, 0.50 and 0.75 percent garlic in treatments 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Each treatment had forty birds which were replicated four times with 60 birds per replicate in a completely randomized design. The birds were fed a 24% broiler starter diet for the first four weeks of the trial and 21% finisher diets within the 5th to 8th week. Daily feed intake and weekly body measurements data were kept. Feed conversion and feed cost/kg gain values were calculated. Haematological and blood chemistry values were also determined at the end of the trial. Results show that the effect of feeding varying dietary levels of garlic on average final body weight, average daily gain and feed cost/kg gain were significant (P<0.05). There was a marked significant improvement of these parameters as levels of garlic in the treatments increased. Birds on the 0.75% garlic (Treatment 4) had significantly higher values of average final body weight, average daily gain and feed cost/kg gain. Blood haematological values obtained fell within normal ranges for domestic chicken. Increasing the level of garlic in the treatments had no significant effect (P>0.05) on the haematological and serum chemistry integrity of the birds. Cholesterol levels of the experimental birds dropped significantly (P<0.05) with increasing levels of garlic in the diets. Birds on 0.75% garlic (Treatment 4) had 76.30 mg/dl of cholesterol which differed significantly from values of 115.57, 114.29 and 103.70 mg/dl observed for birds on Treatments 1, 2 and 3, respectively. It is concluded that incorporation of sun dried garlic powder in the diets of broilers results in better performance, reduced serum cholesterol and further maintains haematological and serum chemistry integrity of the birds.
Key words: Garlic, hypocholesterolemic, broilers