Proximate composition and phytochemical screening of coffee weed (Senna occidentalis ) leaves as phytobiotic additive in poultry diets
The proximate and phytochemical screening of Senna occidentalis were carried out to assess some nutrients and phytobiotic properties of the leaves. The fresh leaves were thoroughly rinsed, sparsely spread on jute mat and dried at room temperature for 6 – 7 days until they became crispy, thereafter they were milled and subjected to proximate and phytochemical analyses. Data showed that the leaves had low moisture (9.35 9.35%), high crude protein (21.88 21.88%), crude fibre, crude fat, ash and nitrogen free extract (NFE) , of 19.72, 16.88, 9.70 and 22.47% respectively. The phytochemicals positively present were cardiac glycosides, phenols, flavols, flavonols and alkaloids, while saponnins were largely present. From the results, Senna occidentalis leaf meal can be a potential source of vegetable protein and some vital mineral elements as supplements to poultry feeds. Besides, the high levels of antioxidants and antimicrobial agents present in the sample which are known to promote growth by enhancing nutrient utilization, repair of worn out tissues and disease control could make Senna occidentalis leaves worthy of being a phytobiotic additive in poultry diets.