Response of finishing broiler chickens to supplemental Neem (Azadirachta indica) and garlic (Allium sativum) on oocyst count, bacteria count and gut morphology
An eight weeks feeding trial was conducted to investigate the effects of feeding diets containing Neem Leaf Meal (NLM), Garlic Meal (GM) and their combinations (NLM +GM) on oocyst count, bacteria count and gut morphology of finishing broiler chickens. A total of 180 day-old Cobb broiler chickens were divided into twelve groups of fifteen chicks with three replicate of five chicks each. The diet contained
NLM, GM and NLM + GM at four levels of inclusion (0mg/kg, 500mg/kg, 1000mg/kg and 1500mg/kg). The experiment was arranged in a 3 × 4 factorial layout in a completely randomized design (CRD). Additives did not significantly (P>0.05) affect oocyst and bacteria count. There was significant (P<0.05) decrease in oocyst and bacteria count of birds fed 1000mg/kg levels of inclusion than those of 0mg/kg levels of inclusion. Significant (P<0.05) reduction in oocyst and bacteria count was achieved in birds fed NLM at 1500mg/kg levels of inclusion and GM at 1000mg/kg levels of inclusion. There was significant (P<0.05) increase in duodenum villi height, apical width and lamina propria depth of birds fed NLM + GM compared to that of
NLM. Jejunal villi height in birds fed GM (686.67μm) and NLM + GM (686.42μm) was statistically similar but superior (P<0.05) to that obtained in NLM (622.67μm). Birds fed diets containing NLM (103.42μm) affected (P<0.05) jejunum apical width compared to GM (72.67μm). Ileum villi height and basal width of birds fed NLM + GM was significantly (P<0.05) improved than those of NLM. However, ileum apical
width was influenced in birds fed NLM + GM (61.33μm) but statistically similar to that of NLM (60.75μm) compared to GM (55.17μm). Gut morphology parameters were significantly (P<0.05) improved by all the levels of inclusion but more at 1500mg/kg inclusion levels compared to 0mg/kg which was lowered. Significant (P<0.05) improvement on gut morphology parameters were recorded by added additives at various inclusion levels except duodenum villi height which was not affected. It was evident that additives employed most especially NLM and GM at 1500mg/kg and 1000mg/kg reduced oocyst and bacteria count and NLM + GM at 1500mg/kg improved gut morphology.
Keywords: Day-old broiler, neem, garlic, broilers, oocyst count, bacteria count, gut morphology.