Effect of Spirulina platensis supplementation on performance, haematological and serum biochemical profiles of broiler chickens reared under tropical environment
The ban on feed grade antibiotic growth promoters and increasing demand for human protein food sources have resulted in a need for new feed materials which provide a safe source of nutrients for poultry. A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation of spirulina on performance, haematological and serum profiles on broiler chickens. A total of 120 day old mixed sex broiler chicks were randomly assigned into 4 treatments with 3 replicate pens per treatment (10 birds/replicate pen) for 0-3 weeks and 4-7 weeks respectively. A reputable commercial diet was used as a basal diet (Treatment 1 without spirulina), while treatments 2, 3 and 4 had 6.00, 12.00, and 18.00 g/kg of spirulina supplemented in the commercial diet. The final weight, body weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in spirulina-supplemented groups compared with the control group for both the starter and finisher phases. For the starter phase it was observed that chicks fed 12.00g/kg spirulina diet performed better in terms of body weight gain while chickens fed 6.00g/kg spirulina diet had the best performance in terms of body weight gain at the finisher phase. Dietary treatment had significant (P < 0.05) effects on packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin count, red blood cells (RBC) and white blood cells (WBC). The values for total protein (TP), globulin, Aspartate Amino-Transferase (AST), Alanine Amino-Transferase (ALT) and Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) were significantly (P < 0.05) higher for chickens fed diets containing spirulina compared to the chickens fed diet without spirulina. It is concluded that dietary supplementation of spirulina improves body weight gain, haematological parameters and blood serum biochemistry of broiler chickens.
Keywords: poultry; algae; blood
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