Air-dried neem leaf extract: effects on the growth performance and blood profile of broiler chicken
This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of aqueous extract of air-dried neem leaves on growth performance and blood profile of broiler chickens. One hundred and sixty (160) broiler chicks were used for the experiment and were intensively managed. The chicks were randomly assigned into four treatment groups administered, 30, 40 and 50mLs of 4% aqueous neem leaf extracts and defined as T1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively. Growth parameters (daily weight gain, feed intake, water intake and feed conversion ratio) and both haematological and serum indices were measured. Data were subjected to One-way Analysis of Variance and significant means were separated by Duncan Multiple Range Test at 95% probability. Result showed a significant (p<0.05) influence of aqueous neem leaf extract on feed conversion ratio only at starter phase. The birds on 50 mLs aqueous neem leaf extract had poorest (1.58) feed conversion ratio while best (1.48) values were observed from those in the control and 40 mLs. It also showed that neem leaf extracts had no significant (P>0.05) effect on all the haemetaological parameters and serum indices at both starter and finisher phases. It was concluded that the use of air-dried neem leaf extract can be adopted as a replacement to antibiotics in broiler chicken production without any adverse effect on their growth performance and blood status.