Haematological and serum biochemical profiles of broiler chickens fed diets containing moringa leaf meals
A study was carried out to determine the effects of Moringa oleifera leaf meal (MOLM) on the haematological and serum biochemical profile of broiler chickens. Fresh Moringa leaves (FML) were shade-dried for four days and milled into meal. A total of two hundred broilers unsexed chickens (Anak strain) were randomly allotted to five treatment groups at forty (40) birds per group. Each treatment group was further divided into five (5) replicates. MOLM was incorporated into the broiler starter and finisher diets at 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20% levels. The proximate composition of the MOLM showed percentage increases in crude protein, crude fibre, calcium and iron contents. The anti-nutritional factors showed higher tannin, phytic acid, saponin and oxalate contents in the MOLM than FML. The heamatological profile in the birds showed higher (p < 0.05) packed cell volume (PCV) in birds fed 5% MOLM and 15% MOLM, but lower in those fed 20% MOLM. The haemoglobin (Hb) values were similar (p>0.05) among birds fed 5%, 10% and 15% MOLM based diets, but reduced significantly (p<0.05) in birds fed 20% MOLM. The white blood cell (WBC) count was significantly (p<0.05) higher in birds fed 15% MOLM, while the lowest was observed in those fed with 20% MOLM. The serum biochemical indices showed significant (p<0.05) reductions in albumin, total protein, uric acid, aspartate amino transferase and alanine amino transferase in birds fed 20% MOLM. The creatinine content was significantly (p<0.05) higher in birds fed 20% MOLM based diet. It was therefore concluded that MOLM can be incorporated into broiler diets at 15% level without adverse effects on the haematological and serum biochemical indices of the birds.
Keywords: Moringa leaf meal, broilers, haematology, serum profile