Growth performance, haematological and serum biochemical indices of broiler starter chickens offered dietary supplement of comfrey leaves extract
An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of nutritional supplement of comfrey symphytum leaves extract on the performance, haematological and serum biochemical indices of starter broilers. 200g of Comfrey symphytum leaves were squeezed in 1 litre of H2O with a juicer to produce Comfrey symphytum extract. The leaves extract was further mixed (diluted) in clean drinking water at the rate of 0ml/l of H2O, 25ml/l of H2O, 50ml/l of H20 and 75ml/l of H2O designated as T1, T3, T4 and T5. T2 was given conventional supplement (divertamin). Five groups of 30-day old chicks of Agritech breed were randomly assigned to one of the supplementary Comfrey symphytum leaves extract and the divertamin supplement for 28days. Each was subdivided into three replicates of 10 chicks each. The broiler chicks were fed normal broiler starter ration for all the groups. At the end of the 28days trial, performance indices result showed that mean final weight, mean weight changes, mean daily weight gain, mean daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio were not significantly affected (P>0.05). However, T4 (50ml per litre of H2O) and T5 (75ml/litre of H2O) gave better performance in terms of feed conversion ratio. The cost/kg of weight gain was cheaper at T4 and T5. All the haematological (Haemoglobin, packed cell volume, red blood cell and white blood cell) and serum biochemical indices (total protein, urea, creatinine, cholesterol and liver enzymes) did not show any significant treatment effect (P>0.05). It was concluded that Comfrey symphytum had no deleterious effect on starter broilers and its use as a nutritional supplement could improve performance at 50 - 75ml/l of H2O and reduce cost/kg of weight gain.