Growth and meat quality of broiler chickens fed Moringa oleifera leaf meal, a probiotic and an organic acid
Six hundred one-day-old broiler chicks were used to determine the effects of Moringa oleifera leaf meal (MOLM), a probiotic, and an organic acid on growth, weights of digestive organs, and meat quality. Starter, grower, and finisher diets were formulated to which the additives were supplemented, namely T1: 300 g/ton zinc bacitracin and 500 g/ton salinomycin; T2: 1000 g/ton MOLM; T3: probiotic (500 g/ton Enviva Pro); T4: organic acid (1000 g/ton Novyrate C); and T5: without additives. Bodyweight (BW), average daily gain (ADG), and feed intake (FI) were measured weekly through day 28. On days 1 to 7, FI was highest for T4 (22.01 g/d) and lowest for T2 (20.13 g/d). Birds in T3 had the lowest ADG and highest FCR on days 21 to 28, and the highest BW on day 14 and day 21. Twelve birds were randomly selected from each treatment to measure carcass yield, organ sizes and meat quality. pH of the breast muscle was recorded at 45 minutes and 24 hours post mortem. Colour and drip loss were measured 24 hours post mortem. Birds in T4 had the lightest carcasses (1451 g). Birds in T2 had higher redness and chroma values, while hue angle values were highest in T3 birds. The effects of MOLM were comparable with the probiotic and organic acid. That is, they improved growth performance, digestive organ size and meat quality characteristics when included in broiler diets as alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters (AGP).
Keywords: alternative growth promoters, carcass characteristics, digestive organ size, feed conversion