Antibacterial action and dietary effect of lemon juice on nutrient digestibility and growth performance of broiler chickens
A total of 150 one-day old unsexed Hubbard broiler chicks were used in a 49 days feeding trial to determine the bactericidal effect of lemon juice on feed bacterial load and its dietary effect on growth and apparent nutrient digestibility of broiler chickens. There were five dietary treatments (T1 – T5) containing lemon juice 0.0, 10, 15, 20 and 25mL/kg diet, respectively. Each treatment was replicated three times with 10 birds each, giving 30 birds per treatment. The experiment was arranged in completely randomized design (CRD). Starter diet was fed ad libitum for 3 weeks and finisher diet for 4 weeks. Water was given also ad libitum throughout the experimental period. Citric and ascorbic acids content of the lime and the pH were determined. At the end of the experiment, results showed that the juice contained ascorbic acid (2.76), citric acid (4.23) with low pH (3.87) and exhibited antibacterial action. Above 10mL/kg inclusion level, apparent nutrient digestibility of crude protein, ether extract, crude fibre, ash and energy utilization were improved. At the starter phase 20 and 25mL/kg improved final live weight and protein efficiency ratio. Final live weight was improved by 15, 20 and 25mL/kg at the finisher phase. In conclusion, addition of 15mL/kg lemon juice in broiler diets could be a good practice and is recommended.
Keywords: apparent nutrient digestibility, broiler chickens, growth, gut bacteria, lemon