Effects of folic acid supplementation on the performance of broiler chicken
Sixty (60) day- old broiler chicks were used to investigate the effects of graded levels of folic acid supplementation on the performance of broiler chickens. The study was carried out using complete randomized design. Commercial starter and finisher diets were used for the experiment which lasted for eight weeks. The folic acid supplement was administered in drinking water within the first seven (7) days of life of the broiler chickens at the following levels: O, 15, 30 and 45mg per litre of drinking water, corresponding to treatments T1 (control), T2, T3 and T4 respectively. Feed and water were provided ad libitum.The lowest (15mg) and highest (45mg) levels of folic acid supplementation did not differ significantly (p>0.05) from the control in most of the parameters measured (final body weight, average growth rate, and feed conversion ratio). The T3 group (30mg of folic acid supplement|) was significantly (p<0.05) higher than other levels including the control in the above mentioned parameters. This level (30mg of folic acid supplementation pre Littre of drinking water provided a safety margin of 1.45mg of supplemental folic acid per bird per day.
Keywords: Folic acid, supplementation, tolerable intake level, performance