Evaluation of Microdesmis puberula leaf meal as feed ingredient in broiler starter diets

  • B.O. Esonu Department of Animal Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri- Nigeria
  • F. C. Iheukwumere Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Abia State University, P. M. B. 7010, Umuahia- Nigeria
  • T. C. Iwuji Department of Animal Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri- Nigeria
  • N. Akanu Department of Animal Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri- Nigeria
  • O.H. Nwugo Department of Animal Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri- Nigeria

Abstract

A 21- day feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the leaf meal of Microdesmis puberula as feed ingredient in broiler starter diets. Microdesmis puberula is a preferred tropical browse plant. The leaves were harvested, chopped to facilitate drying, spread evenly in a room for four days until the material become crispy while still retaining it's greenish colouration. The material was milled using a hammer mill to produce the leaf meal. Microdesmis puberula leaf meal contain 17.32% crude protein, 6.52% ether extract, 12.25% total ash, 24.84% crude fibre, 24.06% NFE and an appreciable percent of minerals. Three broiler starter diets were formulated to contain the meal at dietary levels of 0%, 5% and 10%. One hundred and eighty (180), 14 –day old hubbard broiler chicks were divided into three groups of sixty birds each and randomly assigned to the three treatment diets in a completely randomized design (CRD). Data were collected on feed intake, body weights and feed conversion ratio. There were significant (P<0.05) differences in feed intake, body weight gain and feed conversion ratio among the group on the control (0%) diet and the groups on diets containing 5% and 10% inclusion levels of the leaf meal. The group on the control (0%) diet performed significantly (P<0.05) better than the groups on the leaf meal diets. The results of this study suggest that dietary inclusion of Microdesmis puberula leaf meal at 5% and 10% levels significantly (P<0.05) depressed performance of broiler chicks. Keywords: Microdesmis puberula leaf meal, feed ingredients, broiler starter diet.
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