Phytochemical and Nutritional Evaluation of Raw and Fermented Alchornea cordifolia seed meals on the performancce of Broiler Chicks.
Phytochemical and feeding values of raw and fermented Alchornea cordifolia seed meals were investigated. Raw and fermented seed meals were screened for some phytochemical compounds and also tested on the performance of starter broilers. The meals were included in broiler starter diets at 10% raw and, 10 and 20% fermented, respectively. The diets were fed from 0-28 days of age. Raw Alchornea seed meal contains phytic acids, tannins, saponins, cardiac glycosides, steroids, flavnoids, alkaloids and anthraquinone. Fermenting the seed meal caused 56.2% reduction in the phytic acid content and totally eliminated its anthraquinone content. With 10% raw Alchornea seed meal, broilers grew significantly slower, gained 60.1% of control but feed intake was not statistically different. Inclusion of 10% fermented meal resulted in better weight gain, and feed conversion ratio than the raw seed meal and by 28-days, weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio were not statistically different from the control. At 20% dietary level, fermented Alchornea seed meal, promoted much better growth and efficiency than raw but the values were less (p<0.05) than control. It is concluded therefore that fermentation partially destroyed the anti-nutritional factors present in Alchornea seeds; thus allowing successful use of 10% fermented seed meal in starter broiler rations. Higher level of the fermented seed meal reduced performance although the result was much better than in the raw seed meal.
Keywords: Alchornea seed, fermentation, toxic factors, broilers, performance