Efficacy of additive composite leaf mix from selected tropical plants on the performance of broiler chickens
The study involved a six-week feeding trial conducted to investigate the efficacy of selected leaves added as composite leaf mix (CLM) on the carcass, relative organ weight, muscle development and performance of broiler chickens. Fresh Vernonia amygdalina, Moringa oleifera, Ocimum gratissimum, Azadirachta indica leaves were harvested, air-dried, milled and mixed with Allium sativum powder in ratio 4:3:1:1:1 to form the CLM. The CLM was tested for phyto-chemicals and added to a basal diet, as additive at 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 g/ kg. 150 day-old Ross 308 chicks were used in the experiment. The chicks were allotted to treatments, replicated three times with 10 chicks per replicate. At the end of the feeding trial, evaluation of three randomly-selected birds from each replicate showed that the treatments had significant (p<0.05) effect on growth parameters measured with the exception of feed conversion ratio. Weight gain record was highest in birds fed 20.00 g/ kg. The carcass characteristics showed that the highest thigh (117.83 g/ kg), drumstick (100.48 g/ kg) and live weights (2.25 kg) values were observed in birds fed Diet II, Control and IV respectively. Significantly highest values for the heart weight (6.10g/ kg) and pancreas (2.51g/ kg) were recorded for birds fed Diet IV and the control diet respectively. Birds fed with Diet IV had significantly higher pectoralis thoracicus weights (182.10 g/ kg) and musculu supracoracoideus length (14.07 cm). From the results obtained, Diet IV could be recommended in broiler chickens diet to promote superior muscle development and all level of supplementations, for growth promotion.