Dietary value of honey and it effects on abdominal fat deposit, blood and serum profile of finisher broiler chicks
Mineral elements of honey were determined and the effects of dietary honey flavour in finisher broiler chicks’ diets on feed intake, growth rate, abdominal fat deposit, blood and serum profile were studied. A total of 120 four weeksold Anak broiler chickens were randomly allotted to four treatments, replicated three times with 10 birds each. Four iso-nitrogenous (19% crude protein) and iso-caloric(3100kcal/kg) diets were formulated such that 0% had no honey flavour in the diet and to served as the control, while 0.5,1.0 and 1.5% contained honey flavoured diets, respectively. The honey was used to replace maize as an energy source and to serve as a therapeutics additive in the diets. The mineral contents result of honey revealed that macro-elements were high in order of potassium > phosphorus > calcium > sodium > magnesium while the micro-elements (iron > zinc > manganese > copper) were low. The results showed that 1.5% honey inclusion significantly (P < 0.05) increased feed intake and improved growth rate. The haematological formations of Packed cell volume, Red blood cell, Haemoglobin and serum biochemical components (serum protein, albumin and creatinines) of birds improved with increasing dietary honey inclusion, while the WBC and its differential counts (neutrophils, lymphocytes and monocytes) of birds on honey flavoured diets produced better (P < 0.05) immune status compared to the control dietary birds. The serum cholesterol levels of birds decreased with increasing honey flavoured diets compared to the control dietary birds due to anti-oxidants properties and vitamins in honey which are cholesterol fighters similar to those in fruits and vegetables. The abdominal fat deposit increased with increasing honey flavoured diets, indicating negative impact (P < 0.05) by honey supplementation in the diets. Honey flavoured diet at 1.5% demonstrated superiority in this study with no adverse effect on birds’ health.
Keywords: honey, flavour, broiler, mineral composition, abdominal fat, haematology,