Chemical composition and nutritional value of boiled Christmas bush fruit (Alchornea cordifolia) meal fed to starter broiler chickens
A study was conducted to determine the chemical composition and the nutritive value of boiled Christmas bush (Alchornea cordifolia) for starter broiler chickens. Dried Christmas bush fruits (Capsules + seed) were boiled for 30 minutes, sundried and ground into meal. The meal was analyzed for proximate composition and anti-nutritional factors and incorporated into broiler starter diet at 0%, 15%, 20% and 25% respectively. A total of 120 day old Marshall Strain broiler chicks were divided into 12 pens each containing 10 birds. Three pens were randomly assigned to each experimental diet. The boiled dried and ground Christmas bush (Alchornea cordifolia) fruit contained 19.9% crude protein and 4.7 mg/100 phytic acids which is an improvement when compared with raw Christmas bush fruits. Increase in inclusion level of boiled Christmas bush fruit in the diet caused a progressive reduction (p < 0.05) in final weight gain and feed intake of the birds. Birds on 15 and 20% BCBF had similar (p> 0.05) feed conversion ration ratio with birds on control diet. The cost of feed per Kg weight gain and mortality were not significantly (p> 0.05) different for all the treatments. Apart from Haemoglobin and serum phosphate, all other serum biochemical indices checked were not statistically (p> 0.05) different among the treatment groups. It was concluded that boiling of Christmas bush fruits decreased the anti-nutritional factors and improved the nutritive value of the fruit but could not improve the performance of broiler starter chickens.
Keywords: Broiler starter, christmas bush, chemical composition, anti-nutritional factor