Growth performance and blood profile of broiler chickens as influenced by oral administration of lime fruit (Citrus aurentifolia)
The study was aimed at investigating the effect of oral administration of lime fruit on growth performance, haematology and serum biochemistry in broiler chicken. A total of 150, one day-old unsexed broiler chickens of Anak 2000 strain, were used in a completely randomized design (CRD). The birds were randomly allotted to five treatments with each group having 30 birds, replicated three times to give 10 birds per replicate. Treatment 1 was the control and had no additive; Treatment 2, had 5 mL of lime juice per litre of water every day; Treatment 3, had 7.5g of diced whole lime fruit per litre of water every day; treatment 4, had 5mL of lime juice per litre of water in alternate day while Treatment 5, had 7.5g of diced whole lime fruit per litre of water in alternate day. The experimental trial was for six (6) weeks after a brooding period of two weeks. Significant differences were observed in the final weight, feed intake, weight gain, and feed conversion ratio. Treatment 4 with 5mL of lime juice per litre of water in alternate day recorded better growth performance in the study, with weight gain and feed conversion ratio of 2963.35g/bird and 1.91, respectively. Results from haematological and serum biochemistry characteristics showed varied significant differences in some parameters. Haemoglobin values were between the range of 10.00g/dL in Treatment 3 and 11.80g/dL in Treatment 2. Total white blood cell (TWBC) was significantly highest in Treatment 2 (75.20 x103/μL), and least in Treatment 3 (66.20 x103/μL). Total plasma cholesterol was highest in the control treatment with 133mg/dL and the least value was obtained from Treatment 2 with 104mg/dL. The study supports the use of lime fruit (juice or whole fruit) to promote growth and blood characteristics of broiler chickens which ultimately contributes to the improvement of the bird's overall productivity.
Keywords: broiler chickens, lime fruit, Citrus aurentifolia, non-antibiotic growth promoter, growth performance, blood profile