Influence of Ethanolic extract of Aspilia Africana leaf on the performance and egg qualities of Japanese quails
A 16-week trial evaluated the effects of ethanolic extract of Aspiliaafricana leaf (EeAaL) on the growth performance, carcass and egg characteristics of growing and laying quails. One hundred and eighty (180), one-week old Japanese quail chicks were assigned to six experimental diets (0, 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10% EeAaL or 0.02% oxytetracycline). Each treatment had 30 birdswhich were further subdivided into three replicates of 10 birds. Each replicate was housed in a pen under the deep litter system; feed and water were provided ad libitum.Growth performance and egg characteristics(egg quantity and quality) indices were subjected to the one-way ANOVA in a completely randomized design (CRD). No significant (P>0.05) effect of EeAaL was observed between treatments on the final body weight and daily weight gains of quails. Feed conversion ratio (4.95 – 5.28) was significantly (P<0.05) improved in quails fed 2.5 – 7.5% EeAaL diets. Zero mortality was observed in quails fed 5 – 10% EeAaL diets compared to other treatments. EeAaL supplementation reduced (P<0.05) the amount of fat deposition in quail carcass, thus improving the carcass quality. The efficacy ofEeAaL was more pronounced in laying than growing quails where significant (P<0.05) differences were observed on some external and internal egg characteristics, whereas egg composition did not differ (P>0.05) between treatments. Egg number, hen day production, albumen weight,yolk weight, shell thickness and yolk colour were significantly improved following dietary EeAaL upplementation, indicative of strong growth promoting and stimulatory effects.Therefore, for improved carcass and egg performances up to 7.5% EeAaL shoud be supplemented intoquail diets.
Keywords: Leaf extract, growth rate, egg characteristics, bush marigold, quails