Biochemical, nutritional and haematological implications of Telfairia occidentalis leaf meal as protein supplement in broiler starter diets
AbstractFreshly harvested Telfairia occidentalis matured leaves were processed by shredding, sun drying and milling. This product thereafter referred to as T. occidentalis leaf meal (TOLM) on analyses revealed (on
dry matter basis) 35.14 ± 0.44% crude protein, 9.61 ± 0.01% crude fat, 12.68 ± 0.02% crude fibre, 10.87 ± 0.02% ash, 3.21 ± 0.07 kcal/g gross energy and 31.72 ± 0.57% nitrogen free extracts. Methionine and to a lesser extent, alanine, arginine, leucine, valine and aspartate were remarkably present. Traces of some anti-nutritional factors notably phytates and oxalates were detected. Dietary introduction of TOLM was at graduated levels of 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30%. Birds kept on 15% TOLM dietary inclusion level had the
highest average weight gain (WG) of 290.5 ± 12.3 g/chick. The feed conversion (FCR) and protein efficiency (PER) value of birds on 15% TOLM inclusion were similar (P > 0.05) to values obtained for the
reference diet. The nitrogen utilization indices were similar (P > 0.05) for all diets. Organs weights, carcass characteristics, hematological parameters, serum and liver metabolites had similar values (P >
0.05). Results of the study suggest that inclusion levels of about 15% TOLM in broiler starter diets may be nutritionally beneficial in poultry feeding and subsequently reduce the use of the expensive animal
protein sources in practical feed formulation.