Effect of Hoodia gordonii leaf meal supplementation at finisher stage on productivity, carcass characteristics and meat sensory attributes of male Ross 308 broiler chickens
A nutritional experiment was conducted to determine the effect of Hoodia gordonii leaf meal supplementation at finisher stage (30 to 42 days old) on productivity, carcass characteristics and meat sensory attributes of Ross 308 broiler chickens. The chickens were fed a finisher diet supplemented with 0 (H0), 200 (H200), 300 (H300), 400 (H400), 500 (H500) or 600 (H600) mg of H. gordonii leaf meal/bird/day in a completely randomized design. H. gordonii leaf meal supplementation at finisher stage had no effect (P>0.05) on feed intake, growth rate, feed conversion ratio, live weight, blood glucose and blood urea of Ross 308 broiler chickens. However, daily supplementation with 300 mg of H. gordonii leaf meal per chicken reduced (P<0.05) fat pad weights of the chickens by 20%, and improved (P<0.05) meat tenderness and flavour. These results could not be explained in terms of differences in feed intake, digestibility, growth rate or blood glucose of the chickens. More research is required to explore the biochemical reasons for a reduction in chicken fat pad weights and improvement in meat tenderness and flavour following H. gordonii leaf meal supplementation
Key words: Hoodia gordonii meal, broiler chickens, intake, growth, fat pad weights, meat sensory attributes.