Nigerian Journal of Animal Production

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Performance characteristics, plasma lipids and copper residue in organs and tissues of cockerel chickens fed dietary organic and inorganic copper

AV Jegede, OO Oduguwa, AO Fafiolu, RA Olorunsola, OO Ibitoye, IA Ogunsola, FO Obadire, RJ Awesu


A 112-day study was conducted to determine the effect of dietary organic (Copper proteinate) and inorganic (Copper sulphate) Cu source on growth performance, plasma lipids and copper residue in organs and tissues of cockerel chickens. 240 day-old commercial Black-Harco cockerel chicks were randomly distributed to 6 dietary treatments of 40 birds each. Each treatment group was randomly allocated to 4 replicates of 10 birds each. The diets were formulated to contain a basal diet (containing 30.62 and 29.71 mg/kg Cu for starter and finisher phases respectively) supplemented with organic Cu (Cu proteinate; Cu-P) or inorganic Cu (Cu sulphate; CuSO4 ) fed at 3 dietary levels (50, 100 and 150 mg/kg). The birds were fed chicks mash and grower mash at 1-56 days and 57-112 days respectively in a deep litter pen at floor space of 0.06 m2/bird. Cu-P supplementation resulted in significantly higher (P<0.05) final live weight (FLW) and total weight gain (TWG) compared to CuSO4 at starter phase. Better feed conversion ratio was noticed in birds fed Cu-P supplemented diets compared to CuSO4 at 150mg/kg Cu concentration at both starter and finisher phases. Birds fed 150 mg/kg Cu recorded the highest (P<0.05) feed intake value at starter phase. There was significantly higher (P<0.05) accumulation of Cu in the blood, heart, lung, liver and thigh of birds fed Cu-P than those fed CuSO4 . The liver Cu concentration increased as dietary Cu concentration increased. Cu-P supplementation resulted in significant reduction (P<0.05) in plasma cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride in comparison to CuSO4 . The blood cholesterol, LDL and triglyceride decreased with increased copper concentration. Organic form of copper promotes growth, more bioavailable and more effective in reducing cholesterol than copper sulphate.

Keywords: Cockerels chickens, copper residue, and performance characteristics

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