Performance, blood profile and microbial characteristics of broiler chicken fed phytase supplemented diets
Phytate is an anti-nutritional factor found in grains which limits the availability of essential minerals in monogastric nutrition as they lack enzymes to break it down. Its effect on performance, nutrient retention and availability of many nutrients including the macro elements and trace minerals have been documented in many studies in different animal species with conflicting results. Thus, this study was conducted to evaluate the performance, blood metabolites and microbial population in broiler chicks fed graded levels of phytase enzyme at 0, 250, 500, 750 and 1000FTU/kg of the experimental diet in a 56-day feeding trial. One hundred and ninety-five, one-day-old Arbor acre chicks were randomly allotted into five dietary treatments in a completely randomized design and the treatment had three replicates with 13 birds each. Data were collected on performance characteristics weekly while on day 56, blood was collected at the jugular vein of two birds per replicate for haematological and serum biochemical parameters. Consequently, two birds per replicate were also sacrificed and excised for jejunum and ileum microflora assay. Result for the performance characteristics showed no significant (P>0.05) differences in final bodyweight, daily weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio. Initial body weight ranged from 36.08±0.78-40.13±3.57g/bird, final body weight ranged from 2192.86±28.87- 2466.81±117.40g/bird and the Feed conversion ratio also ranged from2.78-3.21.Also, there were no significant (P>0.05) differences observed in the haematological and serum biochemical parameters but numerical differences exist. Packed cell volume had values between 21.33-26.00%while haemoglobin also had values ranging from7.11-8.67g/100mL. However, significant (P<0.05) differences exist in the ileum while no significant (P>0.05) differences were found in jejunum tissues. For Aspergillus flavus, 59.4±5.1cfu/mL was significantly (p<0.05) higher than 8.4±3.0cfu/mL for the ileum tissue while the jejunum tissue had values ranging from 4.2±1.80-16.8±6.00mL which were not significantly (P>0.05) different. In addition, significant (p<0.05) differences were observed for the ileum and jejunum tissue for Escherichia coli. The ileum tissue had significant values that ranged from 3.3±0.9-24.6±4.8mL while the jejunum also had significant values that ranged from 4.5±0.3-27.9±5.7mL. In conclusion, the use of microbial phytase had no influence on the performance of broilers and blood metabolite but has effect on the microflora of broiler chicken.