Some nutritional and toxicological studies of Jatropha curcas seed meal in poultry nutrition
Combined physical, chemical and biochemical methods were used to process virgin seed meal of Jatropha curcas into Treated Jatropha Seed Meal (TJSM). 5 % TJSM processed by the various methods was included in test diets 2 to 6 which were fed to cockerel chicks at hatch compared to a maize-soybean conventional diet (diet 1). 144-olympiad cockerel chicks were used in a single factor design experiment and fed ad libitum the six experimental diets for a period of one month. Dietary performance traits gave no significant differences in feed consumption and weight gain on the test diets relative to the control diet (p > 0.05). However, significant difference was recorded on feed efficiency between the reference diet and the test diets whereby the test diets gave less efficiency compared with the control (p < 0.05). Highest mortality rate (83 %) was observed on the diet with JSM which was boiled, roasted and fermented. The biochemical determinants measured on the Jatropha based diets were comparable with those of the conventional diet (p > 0.05) except the value on the blood cholesterol level which was elevated on the Jatropha containing diets (p < 0.05). Also, no significant differences were recorded on AST and ALP activities between the control and test diets (p > 0.05) except the activity of ALT (p < 0.05) which increased on diets with the treated Jatropha. Parameters investigated on haematological parameters such as PCV, RBC and Hb were not significantly affected by dietary treated JSM compared to these values on the control diet (p > 0.05). Similar non-significant effect of dietary treated JSM was observed on the WBC differential counts (p > 0.05). It was established in this study that inclusion of 5 % treated Jatropha seed meal had no deleterious effects on poultry. Further researches are recommended to investigate the acceptability of treated JSM at higher inclusion levels in poultry or other livestock.
Keywords: JSM, cockerels, performance, biochemical and haematological indices