Utilization of Ocimum gratissimum and the calyx of Hibiscus sabdariffa leaf meal in the diet of broiler chicks
This preliminary study was carried out to evaluate the utilization of Ocimum gratissimum and the calyx of Hibiscus sabdariffa leaf meal in starter diets by broiler chicks, for a total period of 42 days between May-June 2011. Eighty (80) broiler chicks brooded together for 7 days with a mean body weight of 97gm were randomly allotted in a completely randomized design to a control and 3 treatments as follows: Control group = broiler chicks fed starter diet without treatment, T1 = broiler chicks fed 125g each, of O.
gratissimum leaf and the calyx of H. Sabdariffa meal; T2= broiler chicks fed 250g of the calyx of H. sabdariffa meal and T3= broiler chicks fed 250g O. gratissimum leaf meal in 100kg of starter diets. Feed and water were fed ad libitium throughout the experiment. The calculated values of metabolizable energy and crude protein were 3024.30kcal/kg and 23.45% respectively. These values satisfied the recommended nutrient requirement for inclusion in broiler starter diets. The result obtained did not show significant effect (P>0.05) on the feed consumption, body weight gain and feed efficiency ratio. O. gratissimum leaf and the calyx of H.sabdariffa meal affects growth response and percentage mortality rate in broiler chick production. Inclusion of the calyx of H.sabdariffa meal in broiler starter diets sharply reduced body weight gain (1.38kg/bird), increased feed consumption (4.17kg/bird) and limited digestibility and
utilization of dietary nutrients (FCR;3.06) more than that O.gratissimum meal. The inclusion of O.gratissimum leaf and the calyx of H.sabdariffa meal at the ratio of 1:1 greatly reduced body weight gain (1.28kg/bird) and made chicks to poorly digest and utilize dietary nutrients. Feeding Ocimum gratissimum leaf and Hibiscus sabdariffa meal in broiler starter diets reduced mortality by 15% during production.. This possibly attests to the therapeutic protection against pathogens of the O.gratissimum leaf and the calyx of H.sabdariffa meal included in the diet. Further research study is therefore suggested to find out the cause of reduction in body weight gain and feed utilization of broiler chicks fed Ocimum gratissimum leaf and
Hibiscus sabdariffa starter based diets
Key words: Ocimum gratissimum, calyx of Hibiscus sabdariffa, leaf meal, body weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio.