Haematology and serum biochemistry of broiler chickens offered extracts of dried Roselle plant (Hibiscus sabdariffa) calyx in drinking water
The challenge of antibiotics resistance and the fatality of its residues in human and animal health led to the ban of antibiotic growth promoters in animal diets. This has prompted the search for alternatives; especially through phytobiotic investigations. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of aqueous dried calyx extract of roselle plant on the haematological and serum biochemical responses of broiler chickens with the aim of establishing its optimal level as nutrient additive. The five varying concentration levels- 0, 5, 10, 20 and 30 ml of 2 litres of calyx extract solution per litre of drinking water were treatments T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 respectively. Thirty broiler chickens were randomly assigned per treatment of three replicates each. The experiment lasted for eight weeks. The results revealed significant differences in the haematological parameters. However, the values of white 3 3 blood cells (WBC) (11400.00×10 /µl - 13466.67×10 /µl), lymphocyte (ranged between 48.33 and 61.33%), monocytes (2.00-3.67%), eosinophils (1.67-5.00%) and basophil (0.00 – 1.00%) were within the normal range for healthy chickens. Hence, roselle plant aqueous extract maintained the haematological content of the blood. The level of lymphocyte revealed adequate production of antibodies that prevented the occurrence of bacterial infection or allergic condition throughout experimental period. The influence of aqueous roselle plant on the levels of aspartate transaminase (AST) and albumin (ALB) indicated uncompromised liver function. Therefore, haematological and serum biochemistry parameters showed enhanced health and the wellbeing of the broiler chickens. The 5 ml and 10 ml levels of the extract of dried roselle calyx in drinking water were found to be similarly optimal in terms of lymphocyte levels. Levels above 10 ml could be detrimental to the health and
wellbeing of the chickens.
Key words: Blood constituents, Chicken health, Drinking water, Roselle calyx extract