Haemato-biochemical indices, antioxidant and gut health status of broiler chicken fed composite leaf mix
This study investigated the effects of supplementary composite leaf meal (CLM) on the haemato-biochemical, antioxidants and gut health indices of 150 broiler chickens (Ross 308). During the 42-days feeding trial, the birds were subjected to five dietary treatments (with CLM added at 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 g/kg, respectively), replicated three times with 10 birds per replicate in a completely randomized design. The CLM was formulated from Annona murican, Ficus exasperate, Persea americana, Glyricidia sepium leaf meals in addition to Allium sativum meal, constituted in the ratio 2:2:2:1:1, respectively. From the study, there were significant differences (p<0.05) in the packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin and monocyte across all diets. Highest PCV (34.2 %) was recorded in birds fed Diet 4. All blood serum characteristics studied were not significantly influenced by the supplementation of CLM with the exception of creatinine and glucose. The microbes identified in the small intestine includes: Staphylococcus aureus, Lactobacillus spp. and Streptococcus spp. The microbial count recorded ranged from 7.10 to 40 ×106 cfu/ml. Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli were identified in the jejunum of chicken fed Diets 1, 2 and 3 respectively. From the study, Diet 4 (containing 15 % CLM) showed a great prospect for use as a Prebiotics; given it ability to enhance lactobacillus colonization of the gut. CLM at 15 % supplementation level could be recommended as a sustainable substitute for synthetic antibiotics growth promoters in chicken performance and gut health improvement programmes.