Oral administration of Gongronema latifolia leaf meal: Implications on carcass and haematological profile of broiler finishers raised in the humid tropics
An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of Gongronema latifolia leaf extract (GLLE) on carcass characteristics and haematological indices of broiler finisher birds. A total of 120 four weeks old Marshall Strain commercial broilers were randomly selected and assigned to four experimental treatments namely: W- water only, WV- water + vitalyte, GL30- water + 30 ml GLLE and GL60- water + 60 ml GLLE. At the end of four weeks, nine birds were randomly selected from each treatment and humanely slaughtered for carcass, organ evaluation and haematological studies. The live weight, dressed weight and the relative weights of the thigh, drumstick and breast of the birds were better (P < 0.05) for birds on the GLLE. The relative weights of the eviscerated carcass, head, neck and organs were not affected by the treatments. The haematological characteristics of the birds showed significant differences (P < 0.05) in packed cell volume, red blood cell counts and white blood cell counts in favour of birds on WV, GL30 and GL60. The study showed that GLLE had nutritional benefits on carcass and organ quality of birds in spite of its antinutritional content. Therefore, it can be used as a nutrient supplement in poultry production.
Keyword: Gongronema latifolia, carcass, organs, vitamins, minerals, strain, haematology.