Performance and haematological indices of broiler chickens fed diets containing supplements of three phytogenic plants
The effects of Azadirachta indica (neem), Spondias mombin and Chromolaena odorata leaf meals as natural feed supplements on performance and haematology of broilers were evaluated. Two hundred and sixty-four 1 day-old Arbor acre chicks were divided randomly into six treatments and four replicates. Treatment 1 was a negative control (containing no antibiotic nor phytogenic plant) while treatment 2 served as the positive control (containing Neoceryl). Diets 3 contained 5g/kg Azadirachta indica leaf meal. The birds in treatment 4 were given diets that contained 2.5 g/kg each of Azadirachta indica and Spondias mombin leaf meals. Diets 5 contained 2.5 g/kg each of Azadirachta indica and Chromolaena odorata leaf meals, while those in treatment 6 received diets containing the three test ingredients at 1.7 g/kg each. Data on performance and blood indices collected were analyzed using Analyses of variance in a Completely Randomized Design. Results at day 28 showed no significant difference (P > 0.05) in the feed conversion ratio while significant differences were observed for all haematological parameters across the treatments except basophil and monocytes. At day 56, significant differences (P<0.05) were observed across the treatments for final weight, daily feed intake, daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio. The values of packed cell volume, haemoglobin and red blood cells were significantly higher in the birds fed with the phytogenic plants. It was concluded that 2.5g/kg Azadirachta indica and Spondias mombin improved FCR at the finisher phase while combinations of the three phytogenic plants in feed increased the PCV and did not have a negative effect on thehealth status of the birds.
Keywords: Azadirachta indica, Spondias mombin, Chromolaena odorata, broilers,haematology, performance